Yesterday was a warm and foggy day. I had not ridden my normal route for a couple of days because of the rain and somewhat cooler weather. About noon the fog lifted and the sun came out, butterflies flitted and I felt it was time to ride. One problem, my trike had been outside during this wet weather spell and the seat was still wet. I didn’t relish sitting on the wet seat so I grabbed Sue’s mountain bike and off I went up the lane from my house to the county road. As I ride passed the recumbent trike it looked sad and I almost felt like I was cheating on someone or something.
Sue’s mountain bike is really a little small for me but it felt good. I stopped and adjusted the seat height and off I went. I took a right and up skunk hill I rode. In my mind I was thinking this was easy. I could sit in the saddle and spin up the hill without standing on the pedals as the aluminum frame bike felt light under me compared to my much heavier trike. I topped the hill and started upshifting to higher gears as my speed increased down the long decent to the Wood’s place. The mountain bike is only a 7 speed and before the bottom of the hill I was wishing for more gears.
As I near county road 859 I make a U-turn and head back up the long descent I had just made. Still in the saddle and spinning easily I ride past the Wood’s place. I always know when I’m riding in front of the Wood’s place. There is a flock (?) of guineas that run the fence line honking and squawking and sounding their alarm to the owner that there was a passing man on a bike. I wish everyone in the country used guineas as guard dogs instead of big dogs. I don’t mind being chased by a guinea.
It’s about this point, little more than a mile into my ride that I begin to notice that my head feels heavy and I’m shifting my position in the saddle. By the top of the hill my neck is hurting and I’m trying to sit up in the saddle for relief. By the end of 2 miles, my neck, shoulders and arms are in pain. By the end of 3 miles I decide that gel cell seats are of no use. By the end of 4 miles I’m laughing to myself and saying “Just let me get back home recumbent trike, I’ll never cheat on you again.” At the end of 5 miles I’ve had it and head for the house.
At one time when I was young, in my mid 40″s, 5 miles was a warm up for the 50 miles that followed. But as we grow older, things don’t come as easily as they once did. I hope from my ride yesterday I learn that weight of a bike is important. This mountain bike is not a light weight. It’s a Walmart upper line made of aluminum, but still heavy when put in perspective of more costly bikes. But, compared to my DIY recumbent trike, it is light.
I also learned that having the correct gears for the bike is important. It felt great feeling the power of the lower gears on the mountain bike as I spin uphill. Riding the mountain bike just re-affirms what I’ve felt for a long time, I need lower gears for my trike. Either change the 26 inch tires to 20’s or put in a mid-drive. I’ve got to work on that.
I know it takes time to adjust to most bikes. Most bikes this week being a mountain bike. I think it would take some time for me to ever adjust to an upright bike again. My recumbent trike may be a little on the heavy side. It may be geared a little high for the hills I have around my house. It still a nice bike and I love riding it daily and when I get back from a 2 hour ride, nothing hurts. I may be tired and my legs wobbly, but I’m not taking Advil at 8 o’clock to relieve the pain in my shoulders so I can get to sleep.
It’s 2 o’clock and the sun is shinning, time to ride. Hope she’s not still mad.