Today's ride began after evicting my two cats, Willie and George from my lap. It was the first test of my 2013 Motobecane Fantom CXX with full Velo Orange fenders, a Blackburn back rack (no, not that kind of back rack, you've been spending too much time at People of Wal-Mart!) and a Carradice Carradura rack bag. The bag, fully loaded, weighed around 10lbs. I strapped it to the back of the bike and decided to take off on my usual ride from the Rainier Valley to the UW Arboretum, about exactly 30k.
Today was an extraordinarily beautiful day in Seattle, doubly so for April. So, best summer kit on, I hit the road.
The first thing I noticed is that it didn't take me nearly as long to warm up on the first couple of small hills on Seward Park Drive. Then, when I descended the big hill to Seward Park (I affectionately call it "Death Hill"), I was rarin' to go!
The first stop along the route is at a small LBS in Leschi. See, I had a loose spoke and wanted to get the wheel trued. He was closed on Mondays, so I thought of where the next closest shop might be. This was the first inkling that today's ride might be headed for overtime.
Anyway, after climbing the snaky hill, I crossed Madison and began the descent towards the usual turn-around point. At this point, I really felt like turning around there would be a waste since (1) it was such a gorgeous day, (2) I was feeling very strong, (3) my goals for April include a 45k ride and (4) there are several LBSs that could true the wheel within 10k tops of the turn-around.
So, I horked down three Shot Bloks, drank some water and proceeded across the Montlake Bridge, into uncharted territory for me this year.
My first choice shop, Speedy Reedy, was closed. So I called my second choice, Recycled Cycles in Fremont just off Stone Way. The said they were open until 8 and that they would be happy to true it up if I brought it in.
"How much for the truing?"
"Fiftin dollars, sir."
"FIFTY DOLLARS FOR THE TRUING?!>"
"No, sir, fifteen dollars. One-five."
So, they clamped the bike up in the stand, popped the rear wheel out and put it in the truing stand. It took a good 45 minutes, but they did a very comprehensive truing job including four or five bench stressing sessions. They also re-centred the brakes, and adjusted the index barrel (I was starting to get auto-shifting, a symptom of a bike being ridden!)
After about an hour, I paid the $15 and set off for home aboard my now much more smoother-running steed. Some more water and a Shot Blok or two (and playing dodge 'em cars on Montlake Boulevard), I began the usual trip home via the Arbortetum, Lake Washington Boulevard, Seward Park Avenue and home.
In the end, I ended up riding 42.91k, over a third more than my previous "base" ride. And in the end, I felt tired, but like I still had gas in the tank. Also, I felt it easier to keep my knees aligned with my feet and no knee pain has ensued as of yet. I'm going to try and do a similar ride to this again on Wednesday or so, see if I can do it without blowing up. If I find that I can, then I will really feel like I might have something to work with, a base to build on. The goal for April is 10 rides, 200k distance and to complete a 20k segment in an hour or less.
Well, that's my story. I'll post the Garmin data later if anyone's interested.