Went out Saturday morning for my ride. Even got an early (for me) 7:30 a.m. start. Lubed the new chain, clipped on the computer, put in the water bottles, and got on. But on my first attempt to shift, even before I’d left the driveway — SPRONG! — the shift cable broke where it joins the right side shifter.
Son of a!@#$%^&*! This is the second time this has happened to me. The first was in the fall of 2010. And I know what it means — it means I’ll be buying a new shifter. Trouble is, they’re expensive, and after some unexpected costs this month, we find ourselves with too much month at the end of the money. I’ll have to hold off on the purchase for 10-14 more days.
But what good is being in a bike club if it doesn’t have members with spare bikes? A couple of emails later, my friend Rick agreed to let me use his 10-year-old titanium bike. He’s riding his new carbon fiber Cervelo, and is even faster than he used to be. And he used to be fast.
I picked up the bike Saturday afternoon, and rode it around the block to see what kind of changes I’d have to make to get it right for me.
Right off the bat, a pretty major one. My bike is 56 cm. Rick, who is a big, tall guy, rides what appears to be a 61 cm bike. My feet reached the pedals, but just barely.
I lowered the seat all the way, and moved it up as far as it would go. It’s still a bit big, but I can ride it with a modicum of comfort now.
I skipped the club ride Sunday. They were going to do the Dam Loop — one of my least favorite Austin bike routes — and it was going to be hot!! today. Because I was on a new bike, I opted to do the Saturday morning route I would have done yesterday. If my shifter hadn’t broken.
Riding a familiar route on an unfamiliar bike makes the experience seem brand new. The bike is an Airborne, titanium frame as I’ve said, all Ultegra, nice Easton EA 90 wheels with Michelin Krylion tires, and a triple crankset with a 53-tooth big ring. The model is the Zeppelin, of all things. Airborne apparently got out of the road bike business, because their website features mountain bikes and such, with their cross bike model the closest thing to a road bike. As Rick once told me, “Back in 2002, this was state of the art.”
I think I’ll like my experience with the triple. My average speed for today’s 29.5-mile ride was 15.3 mph. (Just an estimate, since the bike is not equipped with a computer. I know the route distance, and noted my start and end times on my watch — then deducted time stopped at lights to get my total on-bike time.) Anyhoo, it did get me up some hills with a minimum of fuss.
That average speed compares nicely with my recent speeds on that route. In fact, it’s a smidgen faster than most. I’m looking forward to riding this bike over the next two weeks. I’ll post an update on riding a triple titanium later, after I’ve gotten a few more rides under my belt.