I bought my first bike in many years back in February, but have only recently begun to ride it with any regularity. Most of the problem is laziness on my part, as well as the wet, cool/cold spring we've had here in middle TN, but mostly me. After a few attempts to ride in my hilly neighborhood, only to be nearly run over by my distracted, clueless neighbors, I decided to get a car carrier and haul my bike to a nearby park that doesn't allow cars anymore.
Armed with my new-found ability to carry my bike anywhere I want, I loaded my SU200 up at 0630hrs today and set off for a ride. I have switched out the pedals since I bought the bike with an inexpensive set of toe-strap pedals by Eleven81, and I find they make hill-climbing much easier, or at least smoother. I also switched out the stock nut-crusher seat with a better saddle, and "the twins" are very thankful. Since I am quite a bit out of shape I decided to take it easy starting out.
The ride was very peaceful, and the only sounds were the occasional bird chirping... and the sound of my heavy breathing as I struggled up a rather steep hill just after starting out. I narrowly avoided planting my face in the road when I couldn't get my foot out of the strap quickly, which is the reason I will be wearing a smooth-soled shoe the next time instead of my knobby-tread New Balance trainers. A few quick adjustments to the straps and I was on my way. Reaching the top of the hill, I had planned on coasting down the other side back to my car, only to find the road closed due to repair. I had no choice but to coast back down the way I came, and this is when I found that my disc brakes are AWESOME! They slowed me quickly when a walker's dog darted out in front of where I was headed, without skidding or grabbing. Riding back to the car I found a greenway I hadn't noticed before, so I followed it to the end, around 2 miles or so, then turned around and headed back to the car.
A few questions: What is the recommended air pressure for a hybrid? My tires felt a bit squishy, especially compared to my last bike, a mid-90's Giant Perigee.
Bikepedia says the tires are 26"x150" Bontrager Satellite Plus semi-slicks. Should they be road-bike hard?
Also, what is a good, inexpensive, pair of gloves? My palms are a bit sore due to the tackiness of the grips. All in all it was a good morning. It's been brutally hot here in Nashville for the last week, so it was nice to ride so early in the morning.