Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why Is My Derriere Hurting?

My butt hurts! No, no, no, I didn’t switch to the other side and I hope you know what I mean. This has something more to do about getting my new bike last Monday afternoon. I also picked up a tire repair kit and some tire levers, just in case. Too bad the bike was not available last weekend when I was off from work. Since I had to work Monday evening, I didn’t get to test ride the bike very much other than to find out if I can still balance on it. After riding it a couple of minutes down a side street by the bike shop, I found out that riding a bike is indeed like - riding a bike. Your muscles and brain take over and the skill which has remained dormant all these years is still there. Remember I said in a previous post that I still have a helmet, an air pump, and steel lock from the bikes I owned in the 80’s? Well, the pump is not compatible with the new bike because it’s a Schraeder type, while the new tires have a Presta valve. Regarding the U-lock I had, I didn’t have the parts to mount it on the bike and besides it was the kind that was more susceptible to thieves using just an old Bic pen.
This new Trek 1.1 bike I have now is so much different from my old bikes. First, it is much lighter because it is made of aluminum. I can only imagine how much lighter the latest carbon fiber bikes are, but they are not in my price range. Even this Trek is a stretch on my budget. Second, the ride is stiffer compared to the touring bikes I used to ride, which seemed to have more “give”. And third, the wheels are narrower which makes it more of an entry level road racing bike. The narrower wheels and the aluminum probably contribute to the stiffness of the ride. The bike already came with toe clips and I don’t feel ready to try clipless pedals yet, so toe clips suit me just fine. Besides, I’ve never tried clipless pedals before, nor do I have the proper shoes for them. The fourth difference is the index shifting system which I had never used before either, so I had to ask the salesperson how to use it. I knew you had to twist a lever to lower the gears, but didn’t know how to make the gears to go back up. Turns out there were two levers on each side of the handlebars.
On Wednesday afternoon, I went back to the bike shop to buy a new pump , a spare inner tube, and U-lock, then I was able to test ride the bike afterwards. Thus, the sore butt. I figured I’d ride around the neighborhood for about an hour. I didn’t last quite that long, but I made it to 50 minutes on a criterium-like course. That just means I went round and round a few times. I was able to experiment on the gearing, braking, spinning, and stand ups. I don’t remember at what point my butt started hurting, but this is to be expected since I haven’t ridden a road bike so many years. Indoor stationary bikes just don’t compare because they have wider seats. Oh, I almost forgot about another difference. The bike also has a narrower saddle than a touring bike and I kept on being reminded of it as the ride went along.
The next day (today – Thursday), I went out to buy a memory foam seat cushion , a tool bag, and a water bottle cage, to complete my accessories. Darn! The expenses are starting to add up and I don’t even have proper bike shorts and a jersey yet! The only things I didn’t need were a helmet which I already have, and shoes (I’m still using my old durable Nike touring shoes with the torn parts repaired with Shoe Goo). I didn’t even dare try to ride the bike again today even with the new seat cushion. I need to have my sore butt recover first. Butt butter anyone? If you don’t know what that is, you can find out here:

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