Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mustache Ride

As reported earlier, the mustache bars made their way onto the Hillborne, and I promptly took him out for an approximate 5 mile ride. Before the five mile ride, I took the time to ride down the street, around the block and through the neighborhood to test things out, and to make sure that brake levers were in a good spot and so on. Sam joined me on the little jaunt to Walgreens to pick up a greeting card on Sunday. I have to say, as much as I really don't want to admit it, I think the bars were a mistake. While I was doing great riding around the neighborhood, the slightly longer ride to the store was not so pleasant. I was having a difficult time breathing because of the strange posture (neither completely bent over, nor upright, and stretched entirely too far out), and my hands really didn't do well, and are still actually aching a couple of days after the short ride. I can only imagine what a typical much longer ride would do to me. The worst part about it is that I just can't seem to put my finger on the precise "why's" of this set up not working out as I had planned.
I had read that there was potential for these handlebars to take some getting used to, so I was prepared for an adjustment, but this went beyond an uncomfortable stage. Beyond what is typically my largest issue (hand weakness/pain), and on this ride what seemed to be the inability to breathe properly, my entire right side went numb about a mile into the ride. I'm not sure I'm entirely ready to blame the handlebars for the numbness, as I was having back issues before I even left the house, and it's possible the breathing issues were in part due to allergies and the seemingly never ending wind that has taken over here most days for the last several weeks, but the hand pain was definitely the bars. As advertised, the bars do provide multiple hand positions; however, the pressure on my hands in each of these positions is on the same part of my hand, which for me, defeats the purpose of different positions.

I am tempted to try again when I'm not having other physical ailments to see if it was just a one time instance, but regardless of the outcome, I have a back up plan for these bars should they not work out on the Hillborne. Without giving too much away (okay, it really almost gives it entirely away), I leave you with a photo and a reminder that I have a serious, serious problem... but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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