Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Bike!

I haven't been posting much and unfortunately, that's a pretty accurate reflection of my training routine lately. Erin and I went on our honeymoon, which was a nice, long visit to New York City. It was amazing, but there wasn't a lot of training happening there. We did rent bikes there one day, but the other ten days involved no cycling. They involved a lot of walking, and even more drinking beer, going to jazz shows, and eating American food. It's the only nation in the world that thinks that a sandwich with an inch of meat in it is a normal lunch, not a novelty.

On the bright side, I got a new bike! She's so beautiful! I can't wait for you to see her. Unfortunately, I still haven't taken a proper picture of her, but I will.

The story of my new bike goes all the way back to February, when I ordered her. Labour shortages at Chinese frame factories were blamed. Several other things happened. In the end, I waited three months and got her in early May. The whole time I was like a kid waiting for Christmas, except that I kept receiving false information and I always thought that Christmas was somewhere between a week and a month away. You can imagine my agony. And then I get the bike and it rains, and I ride her in the rain, and then I have to go on a stupid honeymoon with my stupid new wife.

But now I'm back! And the sun shone for a few hours yesterday and a few more today and I now know I've met the second true love of my life. It's a shame that Erin had me for so few days before I became a bigamist, but sometimes that just how the cookie crumbles.

How do I describe my new bike? She's magical. Riding her is like riding no bike at all, she's so light and the road friction from her skinny tires is so low.

She's a beautiful road bike, with a steel frame, awesome Shimano STI shifters, derailleurs like swiss watches, and a beautiful, welcoming leather saddle. Riding downhill is like flying two feet above the ground. Riding uphill makes me feel like I've got a rocket tied to my ass. Plus, she's beautiful.

She's really wonderful. She's enough to make God himself jealous.

Part of my new hill climbing ability comes from my clip-in pedals. I've got special shoes that clip into my pedals, so I can pull up on my pedals as well as push down. I've never had these things before. I've got more torque on my pedals than I ever imagined possible.

The trick is, you've got to remember to unclip your feet from your pedals when you stop.

Tracy, the nice lady who built my bike, told me that everyone falls over once when they're getting used to their pedals. I chose to believe her, and yesterday I was nearing the end of my first longish (75km) ride on my bike and I started to wonder if I'd dodged the bullet. I had 140km on my odometer and I hadn't fallen over with my feet clipped to my pedals.

Then I reached an intersection and slowed down to look for cars. I started to go and noticed a car at the last minute and slammed on my breaks, and sure enough, I tipped over and fell on the street.

That's not the worst of it. While I was falling, the horn of my saddle banged into my back and snagged the waist of my cycling tights, breaking the drawstring and pulling them halfway down my ass.

So I hit the street, hard enough to hurt, but not hard enough to damage anything, and I lay there with half of my ass sticking out of my pants and both of my feet still clipped to my pedals. It was pretty embarrassing.

Then two people across the street who'd seen me fall yelled and asked if I was alright. Then it got really embarrassing.

So I yelled back, "yeah, I'm okay. I just have new pedals."

Erin got new pedals for her old bike, too. To make a long story short, halfway through our ride today she told me that she wasn't going to have her one requisite fall. Then exactly 9 blocks away from where I fell, on the very same bike route, Erin was about to cross the street and we saw a car and Erin unclipped her right foot. Unfortunately for her, she fell to the left.

She's got an awesome bruise on her ass now. Nothing else was hurt, except maybe her pride a bit.

So we've both fallen once. I'm now practicing emergency unclipping procedures.

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