Monday, December 19, 2011

Everybody's biking for the weekend

Okay, maybe that's just me. Anyway, when last we left our intrepid heroine, she had cracked her trusty steed's right pedal. Still, the commute home was easy-peasy. I stopped by Eastern Mountain Sports, since it's on the way, but they didn't have anything that satisfied as I am neither ready nor coordinated enough for clip pedals. Scott and I set off for the Ashburn Spokes, Etc where the store manager led me to the pedal section and made recommendations. I selected the spiky metal ones. He warned me about misthreading the pedals, showing me which was left and right, and said that we could bring in the bike and they'd install them for free if we had trouble.

We had trouble. Neither I nor Scott could loosen the plastic pedals to remove them. Saturday morning we bundled Rose into the back of the truck and took her and the new pedals to the shop. It is both heartening and a little embarrassing that everybody in the shop recognizes me and my bike on sight. The mechanics LOVED the lights woven in my basket and turned them on while swapping out pedals (OMG, what a quick process that is when one has the right tools!) and adjusting my squishy back brake. Scott was looking for something (I can't remember what) and I wound up chatting with another clerk who was impressed as all get out that I commute by bike. I mentioned how pleased I was with my MiNewt.600 headlight and he unpacked a MiNewt.1500 to show me the latest and greatest in headlamp warfare. The battery pack alone was the size of a mini meatloaf but was surprisingly light. I don't know how one would keep their head upright if they used the helmet mount for the light, though.

The rest of Saturday was spent exploring new stores such as Potomac Running (where Scott found a pair of minimalist shoes with a solid upper so he can have warm toes now that it's too chilly to bike and run in his Vibram Five Fingers) and Bicycle Outfitters in Leesburg. Wow! They had a great selection of clothes and jackets and bikes. We both tried on convertible jackets with back vents; unfortunately, they were out of our respective sizes in the colors we wanted. They had an adorable step-through Giant. Seriously adorable. And a beautiful used Raleigh diamond frame with fenders and Brooks B17 saddle for $399. I nearly spazzed and Scott got wistful as his first bike was his mom's Raleigh. It was a good visit.

Sunday was sunnier and touch warmer than Saturday. I layered up, pointed Rose west and rode to Leesburg. Unfortunately, my leg warmers kept slipping down my thighs and I had to keep hiking them back up. Eventually, I found a fairly secluded spot where I was able to swap around my bottom layers. Unfortunately, my legs no longer had that wonderful windbreak from the leg warmers and they got chilly. The rest of me, including my toes, stayed comfy and not too sweaty. Lots of joggers and bikers smiled at my basket with its twinkling lights, hee! At Raflo Park, I left the trail for Market Station in search of a little warmth and maybe some hot cocoa. I found both at Dorner Bistro, a great little German pub, and treated myself to cocoa and the second best fries I've ever eaten.

Suitably resustained, I phoned Scott to let him know where I was and that I was on my way home. Oh, and I might call to be rescued in case I got too cold. Happily, I wound up not needing rescue and the trip home felt much faster than the trip out. I decided to treat myself to a little music and, when my external speaker decided its batteries were dead, plugged an ear bud in my right ear and listened to my Road Trip playlist. I pseudo drafted behind a guy for a while. He kept looking over his shoulder, expecting me to pass I guess, but I couldn't pass him while we were on an incline. Eventually, we got to a downhill portion and I zoomed past.

The Rte 28 overpass is still a bear, but I climbed it without dropping into the granny gears despite being at mile 22 of my ride. Huzzah! I felt pretty darn good when I got home, no huffing and puffing, and I wasn't a sweaty mess. I guess mid-30s with a 10mph wind is my perfect cycling weather.

No comments:

Post a Comment