Riding a bike from the train station to work everyday can be very fatiguing for my legs. In order to leave a bicycle at the station for long periods of time, where rain and thieves could cause trouble, I purchased an inexpensive one. Unfortunately, inexpensive means ‘heavy’ and ‘short’. Often I find myself humping this piece of lead over hills, but the really draining part is that my legs are always at a cramped angle. It surprises me how hard that is on the thighs and the knees.
Soon, I will probably fit a long seat post in this beast to reduce the strain, particularly because I need to kneel for hours to practice my art.
Yesterday, I hopped on my road bike and, ignoring the misty rain, headed up the Miyagawa river valley. Stretching my legs out felt wonderful; amazing how a couple hours of exercise can feel so refreshing. My main purposes were: get some training in for longer rides; and gain familiarity with the roads on the way to Osugidani (大杉谷) – my ultimate destination.
I love my ergonomically curved handlebars; combined with my weight loss and increased core muscle strength, I had virtually no hand or shoulder strain. The rolling hills were wonderful. A wrong turn, which I followed through to see where it came out, added a couple kilometers of scenery and a photo op (although, I had no camera).
My last river crossing on the way out was into Watarai-cho Makae (度会町・麻加江) as I paused at the middle of the towering span, looking out at the dragon’s breath sifting through the emerald covered mountains and down at the syrupy river, I realized how people become nature worshippers. God’s creation is indeed a treasure.
Because I was exploring and trying to refresh my body, I wasn’t setting any speed records, but I kept being bothered by how low my computer was reading. On the uphill stretches, I just assumed I was getting old and slow, but there were some steep downhill runs where I wasn’t even getting 30 km/h. On an especially long hill, I jumped to the big ring in front and the tiny gear in back and kicked it hard, pulling at my cleats all the way around; I got nervous and eased off, being on unknown surfaces and having brakes too wet to stop in an emergency, but I would have guessed I was doing 50 or 60 km minimum. However, the computer still read in the low 30s.
I think I put a new battery in recently and haven’t used the computer since. (Everything read zero in the morning.) So, it crossed my mind that the default wheel size is probably considerably smaller than my rims… at least I hope that’s the case. It’s a little bit of a bummer though, since I was trying to mark distances to key route changes. Oh well, next weekend?