Today I took my first proper road ride since buying my Giant Defy 2. All of my training and rides whilst learning to ride it have been on a limited amount of local roads and on the very handy local cycle path which links Bristol to Bath. This has enabled me to get valuable experience in controlling the road bike having only ever rode on mountain or hybrid cycles throughout my adult life! I now feel more confident in controlling [balancing] the bike, changing and using the gears & brakes and being aware of what is going on around me (what with the fairly heavy ‘traffic’ of the cycle path with dog walkers, runners, cyclists and families all using it).
This morning I rode through my local area for 4 miles on to the A38 and then out past Thornbury, into the village and back up to the A38 up a beast of a hill out of Thornbury, which really got the lactic acid building up in the legs and the lungs burning!
Overall I rode 22 miles in around 1 hour 26 minutes, and learned a lot about the roads! Firstly, how brutal some of the drains along the side of the road can be! I’ve had to adapt to pull the front wheel up through the worst of them and then lift out of the seat slightly for the rear wheel, otherwise you get a big bang through the frame, which feels like its doing real damage to such a lightweight cycle. The same applies for some of the good old British road ‘repairs’ [bodges] that are all over our area. Secondly I got to feel how fast cars travel past on a major route, especially as it gets more rural. If nothing else it will probably slow me down as I see cyclists when I’m driving in future, as its a hell of a speed difference when you’re on two thin wheels out on those country roads! I was glad I wore my slightly tinted sunglasses too, as plenty of stones get flicked up from passing vehicles, especially the vans. Also, this morning it was quite fresh feeling outside at 8am, however even in the early morning sun once it was up I had improved my ‘t-shirt tan’. 😉
I’m still a little wary of traffic-light controlled stops and getting clipped out perfectly. The last thing I want is another fall where I can’t get my cleat out, only much more publicly on the roads… 😯
I have a long long way to go in respect of becoming a proficient road cyclist on this type of bike, but today really helped a lot. Much more mileage to follow before winter sets in…