Friday, February 26, 2010

Tapestry Coat

Yesterday was our first long ride on our new bicycles...Amie and The Ballbreaker. Peter got a new bike too the day after I got mine. His is retro looking with maroon and cream on the frame, a leather seat and brown tape on the handlebars. Riding it home from the record store, Peter says, "Easy there, Ballbreaker, easy." And so, the bike was named.

We wanted to do something familiar for our first ride on the new bikes so we did the same Springwater ride we did last 2 miles. It was lovely as usual and we even saw a peacock (along with turkeys, chickens and a goat) as we rode home. My back got fatigued pretty quickly on the new bike, but I think after you've put in 30 miles it really becomes more comfortable than a hybrid. For the legs and knees it is no question, the road bike is far and away better.

Of course, the seats on road bikes are harder and more narrow, thus requiring the dreaded chamois shorts. Nothing kills the dream of being well-dressed on a bicycle faster than wearing spandex shorts with a diaper sown into them. They say that for every mile you want to ride you should spend a dollar on your chamois shorts. I say go for the gold and get the Louis Garneau cycling shorts at Indie Bike. You will not be dissapointed...they are like riding on a freaking pillow. Add a little Chamois Butt'r to the chamois and it won't be your seat that will be calling for a break.

So, about being a well-dressed cyclist. I plan on wearing beautiful summer dresses on my bicycle as well as doing lots of mileage in preparationg for RAGBRAI. Farmer tans absolutely will not do. The pockets on the back of the jersey are incredibly useful though as you can keep food and an extra water bottle back there. A tiny little zippered pocket just isn't big enough. Enter Sheila Moon. She has designed fabulous artsy, sometimes even strappy, cycling tanks with full pockets in the back! Yes! I plan on ordering three as we get closer to summer and I think they will even give my Louis Garneau's some fashion help.

Today we took the bikes to Banks and rode a little of the bike trail to Vernonia. It was a nice climb, gentle and long, and was complete with beautiful forests, a long trestle, a stream and a pony. At one point I got Amie up to 27 mph but had to slow down because it felt too fast.

As soon as we got home I hopped in the shower and got dressed to go to my massage. Peter got a picture of me riding away in my tapestry coat. Riding 125 miles in a week gives a massage therapist a lot to work on. It was excruciating. Of course, that is what I pay her for. My calves, quads and glutes were really "sticky" as she says. It felt good to warm up the muscles a bit on the way home after that abuse.

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