Oh hey there …

Oh hey. It’s been a while hasn’t it. Gosh. Sorry about that. Been busy with life and such, being elected to the board for Philly Bike Club. I’m really thrilled to be able to give back to the club that has been so instrumental in keeping me on the road, making new friends, and learning as much as I can about cycling.

 

sometimes I let my bikes stay inside
sometimes I let my bikes stay inside

The bikes are back home. This makes me incredibly happy.

The weather has been difficult to say the least. We didn’t get much snow since the Nor’easter pretty much stayed to the Nor’east. But it’s been colder than I care to venture lately (sub-32*F).

 

But venture I did this past weekend – I wanted to ride my new bike (Lady Rainicorn – you may recall her as the sexy ’88 Peugeot you see in the image above) and the weather outlets were predicting upper-thirties/low-forties and sun. My Always Up For A Bike Ride commuter buddy agreed to join me on an inaugural ride to meet up with some friends for brunch downtown. I warned him we were not going to be breaking any speed records.

Every ride is a learning opportunity:

1. Toe clips SUCK. There is a reason we attach our feet to pedals on the soles of our feet instead of shoving our shoes into a tiny metal cage that mocks you as you attempt to pedal from a stand-still.

there is no love in my heart for these pedals
there is no love in my heart for these pedals

2. Toe covers do not cut it below 40*F. Not even with sock liners and my thickest, warmest wool socks. Riding with fish sticks for toes is also the worst.

not good for spinning efficiency
not good for spinning efficiency

3. I needed one more layer in the morning, one fewer in the afternoon. It was 23*F when we left; 39*F when I got home.

it felt something like this
it felt something like this

4. Winter cycling gloves are BOMB DIGGITY.

something like that, yeah
something like that, yeah

5. The new bike will be excellent for the commute. I will get stronger because she’s not a compact – just a double – but she’s stable and nimble. Zippy.  My lowest gear is nowhere close to my lowest gear on my Felt. But the hills mostly flew under me – only the steep(-er/-est) of hills got painful.

 

So of course my Wish List of cycling crap got longer: insulated cycling jacket, winter cycling shoes, getting a second pair of thermal tights. And new pedals. Even if I just get some platforms for the time being – anything is better than the current weighted toe-clip pedals I have now.

 

When I picked up my bikes I also bought a new seat – a Specialized Ruby Expert. The local shop has a 90 day return-for-store-credit policy so I need to get out on my Felt a few times to give it a go. Hopefully the weather will co-operate – currently this weekend looks terrible for outdoor cycling (snow and sub-freezing temperatures).

 

So more to come, dear reader. Looking forward to warmer weather, longer sunshine, and commuting by bike again in the near future.

 

See you on the road!

 

21 thoughts on “Oh hey there …

    1. I’m hoping I like it too … if not, I need to figure something else out.

      The bike shop guys … I got three different opinions from four guys. The issue isn’t the first 25-30 miles … it’s the 70-75 miles after. 😉

      1. Yes that’s true. I’ve never done more than 25 miles at a time. But this year I plan to smash that record and do 100 miles. Hmm…Maybe I’ll wish I kept it (sold it on ebay). Keep us updated!

      2. You should be fine if the setup (saddle height) is right. I have a Specialize Romin and that might have 2mm of padding and I absolutely love it. Feels fine through 125.

      3. The guys did a fit when they put on the new seat … just haven’t been out yet.

        Slightly off-topic, I’m also thinking they may have overhauled my Felt and tuned up my Peugeot instead of the other way around. I watched them tag the bikes so I’m not sure how that could happen. And they didn’t give me a detailed receipt. Thinking a trip back to the bike ship may be in order.

      4. Silly but I kinda don’t want to go back and be all “Hey, I was in here a couple weeks ago and need a detailed receipt. And I also think y’all screwed up which bike you overhauled.”

        I mean, there is NO WAY they re-taped my Peugeot, nor did they call to see if I wanted fresh tape. The frame was still dirty. They did replace the shifting cables. My Felt looks shiny and pretty … but I’m pretty sure they didn’t re-wrap the tape on that bike either.

        *sigh*

      5. Tape, if you have the newer gel tape, cleans up really well. Damp soapy cloth – less water, more soap… I can get mine looking like new quite easily. Just a thought. On the other hand, you should get what you paid for.

      6. The tape is original and while it’s mostly in good condition there is a tear on one side. And its not really cushiony.

        I need to go back and chat with the guys. I didn’t mention new tape because I figured they’d go to re-wrap and mention it. Lesson learned I guess.

  1. On pedals with toe clips, it’s just a matter of getting used to it, so patience and practice are all it really requires. I assume that the photo you posted is not that of your pedal, but the strap is threaded through the wrong part of the pedal. It should be threaded not at the front but at the back. I know from experience that the wrong strap position makes everything more difficult, except getting the foot out of the pedal!

    1. Yes, by the end of out trip I was becoming more adept eith the pedals. I’m sure with continued patience and practice they would be fine.

      The image is a stock photo.

      Thanks for the response!

    1. I thought about full shoes covers but they weren’t on sale and I didn’t want to spend another $70 on top of the $100 I was already spending on other items. Definitely an option though – I’ve been researching winter cycling shoes and they are roughly $200.

  2. I COMPLETELY dig my toe clips 🙂 They allow me to wear any freaking shoe I need to for the weather. Love your post and looking forward to moer. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. You aren’t alone – toe clips were loved by a few people on my facebook page as well. 🙂 They seemed like a great idea at first – and as someone else mentioned, I probably need to practice more and will be fine. The idea of wearing whatever works is definitely alluring …

      1. My cycling shoe wear consists of my Birkenstocks and my LL Bean Tek2 Trail Shoes. Usually just my birks 🙂 We have a Yuba Mundo utility bike that has not clips, just platforms. Every time I ride I have to get used to taking my foot off the pedal when I stop.

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