Thursday, June 19, 2008

5:30am ride with JFT

This morning, before the birds were up, I met Jill, Heli and Melissa at Idylwood park to ride the Lake Sammamish loop. With the exception of the Issaquah Tri, I don't think I've ever woken up so early voluntarily in my life. So the night before, I had packed up my SUV with all my gear and set my alarm to 4:30am. Of course, I was really excited because that meant I would be trying out my new bike. So excited that I could not sleep a wink.

The ride began at Idylwood, and within a few miles I noticed a thumping feeling in my backside and I was slowing down, it turns out that I had a flat. Now, I've never had to change a real flat in my life, so this was interesting. Jill had also stopped to help me out. There are a bunch of little details that I didn't know about that make changing a tire much easier, like to work with it on your feet. When applying the C02 cartridge, make sure you have your tire on the ground and you fill the tire pressing down on the valve. Also, to fill the tire on the side where your cassette is facing away otherwise, when you remove the cartridge you might bang your hand on it and it will hurt!

Now the hard part is actually putting the back wheel on properly. We somehow got the wheel back on after quite a bit of fiddling. It turns out that it wasn't quite on right, but I'll get to that later. During the ride, Jill had me working on my big ring to build strength. It turns out that on my standing climbs I should be using a bigger gear because I am still wobbling. Also, she mentioned that I should practice my balance a bit more as I tend to not stay on a straight line. Lastly, we talked about focusing on the hamstrings and gluts because that is where all the power is from. This was a really great learning ride for me, now I have things to work on. One day I would like to bike to work. The Lake Sammamish River trail is only about 1 mile from my home and I could take that safely to campus.

Jill had mentioned that I should remove 1 disk from my stear tube to get better handling and that I should fix my seat. So I took it back to Performance Bikes this evening and Matt my bike tech was there and he cleaned up my bike, fixed my seat, removed the disk, changed my water bottle cages, gave me new ties to transfer my cyclo computer to my new bike and gave me some suggestions to heal my knee faster - I swear this guy has a crush on me. It also turns out that we didn't put my back wheel on properly and I forgot to close my rear brake - oops. Lastly, it turns out that Matt also works on Jill's bike as well and told me to tell her not to let her husband work on her bike anymore. :)

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