Doing it "Old School"

Distance: 26.4 miles

Time: about 1:30:00

Avg. speed: about 18 mph

Weather: 78-87º, humidity 77-59%, wind W3-WSW3, sunny

Song stuck in head: What a Day That Was - David Byrne

August mileage total: 302 miles


Bleh, wheels not ready today as promised by Landry's. Probably my punishment for calling them yesterday as I was about to pass their exit on the Mass Pike. So, I had to liberate the Bianchi from it's shackles (the wind trainer) in my basement and take it out for some fresh air.

Went to ride my "CC" route to give me some non-hilly miles to ease my muscles back into riding after a 3 day layoff with some running in the middle. Bike felt quite "small" to me and I couldn't figure out why. I specifically got a longer seat post so I could set it up to be a very close fit to my Lemond when I bought it last year.

After I climbed the first little hill as I was leaving downtown Maynard, my quads, just above the knee felt very tight. I put it off to not warming up enough and kept going. But the bike still felt small. Looking down, I noticed I wasn't getting good leg extension as I pedaled.

Hrm, why the heck would I lower my seat post?? Then it dawned on me: I dropped it down about an inch-and-a-half when I took my wife and daughter out on the Nashua River Rail Trail earlier this summer. Doh! If I'd had any sense, I would have stopped right then and raised it back up, but for some reason, I rode on.

I was pretty amazed at how readily I re-adapted to the downtube shifter location on the Bianchi and no imprecise shifts due to the lack of indexing either. Even though the bike is a heavy-ish steelie, I seemed to be able to bound up the rollers on the route pretty well. One thing that was very noticeable was the larger gaps in gearing it's 6-speed freewheel offered compared to the 10-speed freewheel on the Lemond.

On Sudbury Road, just before the Assabet River crossing, there was a detour, forcing me to turn left. No problem: the road (Barton Road) lead me south along the west side of Lake Boon, giving me a view of it I hadn't seen before. Barton eventually hits Main Street, Hudson which I took to Cox St. that led me onto Hudson Road north to resume the planned route. An extra couple of miles that I didn't mind.

The rest of the ride was uneventful, my legs became adjusted to the odd seat height and I was able to keep a moderate pace the whole way. Mileage and avg. speed are estimates as the Bianchi has no computer on it. Distance was computed by MapMyRide.com

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