Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More on the Raleigh Super Course

The first real ride on the Raleigh (outside of going in endless circles around the neighborhood) was pretty exciting! I had the opportunity this morning to take the SC MK2 to the bike path for a bit of a longer and more varied terrain ride. I opted to physically take the bike to the trail, rather than riding there because of some issues I'll explain below.   
Raleigh SC MK2 loaded up on the CRV
I didn't want to haul a bunch of stuff with me on the ride, so I only had my camera phone. The funny thing is it put this weird hazy glow on this picture, which was amusing because it felt kind of dream like to ride the Raleigh today.

The weather was perfect this morning because it was in the mid-70s and cloudy. I knew I'd be able to handle a bit longer ride because of this, so I tried to take advantage of the fact that the sun wasn't beating down directly on me. I took the St Vrain bike path to its end at Golden Pond, and noticed that there were several people out enjoying the coolness of the morning. I couldn't believe how still everything was.
Golden Pond on an eerily cloudy morning
The skies looked as though they'd open up and pour down at any moment, but I managed to make it the entire length of my ride without a drop of rain falling on me. At one point, the sun even seemed as though it would come out and shine.
Cloudy skies beginning to part for the sunshine
One of the best things about the bicycle paths through town is that I don't worry about road debris. Because I'm so unfamiliar with this particular bicycle, haven't replaced the tubes or tires and just generally feel unsure of myself while riding it, I thought taking the opportunity to ride on cemented surfaces would help me focus more on the ride and less on whether or not I'd get a flat tire.
A small portion of St Vrain's bicycle pathways
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself this morning. I think I'm more surprised by this than anyone. I enjoy riding the upright style of bicycle so much because it's so comfortable and I get to see everything going on around me. However, the reality is that on longer trips, it's so slow to pedal because of the set up and weight of the bike itself, I think it's nice to have a faster option.

Additionally, I've been struggling with some neck issues from my short rides over the last couple of days on this bicycle, but today, I tried to focus on relaxing my neck, keeping my head down, bending my elbows and dropping my shoulders. While I know part of it is the breaking in process of a different style of riding, I don't want to develop bad habits that lead to injuries at some point down the line.

This bicycle is truly awesome! For something that is so beat up and in desperate need of restoration, it really rides pretty decent. I look forward to extending the rides, and eventually feeling comfortable enough to let myself just go on the streets without fear of having a near death experience.

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