Took a little jaunt to Cambridge today, to try out The Beast in his new randonneuring configuration with his new legs:
Took him on a 35-mile jaunt to Cambridge that took a hair over 2 hours, giving me an average speed of 16.6 mph: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/234236054
Not bad, but not wonderful. I could console myself that The Beast is a big boy if I’m being charitable… or if I’m not, he’s got a fat ass (at just over 30 pounds he’s got over 10 pounds on my racing machine, Holly the Raleigh). Why the weight? Well first of all, he has a heavier frame with oversized tubing, which helps me stay upright and stable in high Iowa winds. Second of all, he’s got beefy wheels plus a pretty heavy generator hub. Third, he’s got a triple chainring which gives me a huge gear range that’s helpful uphill when I’ve got scads of gear. Fourth, he’s got fairly heavy (but inexpensive and reliable) components on him. Last, he’s got fenders and other stuff… yeah, they look a little nerdy but to corrupt an awful saying right now, nothing looks as cool as dry feels. The fenders will probably come off if there’s no rain in the forecast for any brevet I do, but for commuting and wet brevets they stay on. So, all the little things that make him a bit on the chunky side for short jaunts improve his comfort on the 200, 300, 400, 600, or 1200 kilometers that make up your standard brevet.
I could console myself that the wind played an awful trick on me, in my face all the way to Cambridge and then swinging around to hit me abeam when I turned back. In cycling most of us try to play the wind that way to feel AWESOME when heading home. Sometimes the wind has other ideas.
I could console that more than a few miles were in town, that my legs were a bit trashed from yesterday, and that I have health issues, but I think the essential truth is I’m that a little out of shape. The shape will come, though… the shape will come.