It seems only fitting that the inaugural ride on the new bike be it’s maiden voyage and that it be wet, wet, cold and pouring with rain! Oh well the bike had to get wet sooner or later and if the weather lately is anything to go by it’s going to be a wet fall and winter!
I arrived at Franco’s for the group ride early; to be honest I couldn’t remember the start time so I opted for 8:00am, one by one a few riders arrived and then left and then a few more turned up, several of them on Franco bikes. By 8:40am there was about 6 of us and I put the poor turn out down the weather. They seemed a friendly bunch and we introduced ourselves. I was ready to go at this point, slightly damp a bit cold, they seemed to have a big propensity for standing around chatting!
Another 10 minutes slipped by and suddenly a group of 3o riders rolled in! They were from Conejo Valley Cyclists, a local club who had come out in support. Some chatting followed and as the “new kid” I made very small talk with them, it’s all new to me but there was a lot of what I would call “hardcore” cyclist banter about tours and racing and the like…anyway finally there was an announcement that two routes would be available, I figured I would just stick with the original 6 and go from there. We all started to leave the parking lot, one group went right and one left, I hesitated and went right realizing that I should have gone left. A center divide stopped me from about turning and by the time I could; only 30 yards or so, the road ahead was deserted. F%$K!
So what the hell I thought I set off and had great ride all by myself, I stuck with some familiar roads, threw in some climbing, some very ginger descents and some flats. The rain was a pain but once you’re wet you’re wet and I wasn’t cold once I was moving. I finished the first loop and stopped off at my car to pick up my iPod for my company…I was a bit pissed as this had been advertised as a “no one left behind ride”! Whatever; I am ugly enough to look after myself.
As for the bike, well I will be honest and say I was expecting it to be a rocket and it kinda wasn’t. It’s hard to say why but there are a few reasons; my cycling fitness is not great and Kanan; the main climb is an 8% grade for nearly 3 miles followed by a very gentle decent down the very steep Mulholland “Snake” and past the Rock Store. Here’s a screen grab of the imported file in Google Earth
Switching from a triple crank to a double is weird and especially as it is a 53/39 nothing like jumping in! I may have to switch to a compact crank (50/34) with all the hills around here, I was warned about this (thanks Robin)! Click here for a quick explanation of what I just said. I did lower my seat as my left hamstrings was complaining and that helped, I think the new seat post will make a difference. The seat may have to go too, I prefer one with a cut out and this does not have one…it’s just a personal thing I guess. One thing I did notice is that the frame is super stiff and the power you put in does propel you forward only! It’s easy and fairly effortless to roll along in the high teens early 20s mph. It’s also going to take some time to bed myself in as my muscle memory has me sitting very differently. I am sure I will have more to say about things over the coming weeks.
So after the ride I headed home and spent the next hour cleaning!
Here’s some bike porn pics of it clean from the night before.
This is a profile of the ride and you can see all the details on Garmin Connect here.
And so the first 30 miles are in the bank!