Friday, I took the stickers off the Neuvation wheelset (which so far feels great!) using a hairdryer. I had thought that the only casualty was a pair of sore thumbs from rubbing off the glue residue. But I am thinking that the heat of the hair dyer may have caused my tubes to fail. Either that or Performance tubes are crap and both fail at the same time at the same spot, near the valve. Saturday morning, I was running late getting out the door to work. I filled the tubes up and air started slowly leaking out of both wheels. Dang it. They held air just fine before I did the hair dryer treatment. Anyway, as fast I could I grabbed two new tubes and changed them out.
I figured that if I rode at me usual pace I would end up about after 10am and I should have been there before 10. I hate being late. I figured that I would have to haul butt and run some red lights, stop signs and keep up enough speed to stay in the big ring the whole way. I didn't have to do anything illegal thankfully. I think I only dropped down to small ring to get off the line at signals. And I was fast--at least for me. Really when I say I am fast, it is all relative. I am fast for a turtle, slow for a normal cyclist rabbit.
I arrived at exactly 10am. My legs were feeling the burn, but I felt pretty good. I managed to get to work with an average speed better than 1 mph faster than what I have managed previously. So basically, with respect to actual riding time it took me about 3 or 4 minutes less time to get to work than normal. But overall, if the total time is considered, I made it to work around 10 minutes faster than it normally make it. Sweet.
I realized during the ride there that I was in sync with quite a few traffic signals. I think it was because I was riding a little bit faster than normal so I was able to slip through several signals in a row when I normally get a red or two in a row because I am too slow to catch the green. A couple of times I thought my legs were going to pop in an effort to get to the signal in time. I kept up my speed and managed to get into a rhythm with a long stretch of signals during a time when traffic was not too bad, but definitely making its presence felt. I arrived at work in a good mood amazingly despite starting out fairly frustrated.
Normally, I work noon until close. This means that I have to ride home at dusk or, as it seems to be often now, in the dark. Since I was going to be leaving at about 6pm I took all of my lights off, just to see how the bike felt without all the crap on it.. It was nice to lose the extra stuff. The rattles were gone from the bike too, and the lack of extras was combined with the new Neuvation wheelset it was a stealthy machine, and I scared one pedestrian walking in the bike lane. That was fun. I weighed the bike at work--16.9 lbs. Not too shabby.
I rode from work not to home, but to an elementary school where our church congregation was having a picnic, softball game, and kids' bike parage. It started at 6, the same time I was off work, so rode as fast as possible so that I didn't miss anymore than I had too. The return trip, as always, was more work than the trip to work because of the elevation gain. It was 12.6 miles away and I was there in about 42 minutes--this was the total time. I forgot to look at my riding time. So at least for me, I was flyin'. I got to the school and got to show off my fabulous pink fat cyclist jersey (back view shown here)
I got one comment from one fellow jokingly thanking me for putting on a pair of shorts on over my sweet bib shorts. I think he was jealous--or his wife was--I am not sure which. Actually no one would want this fellow in anything tight and I think that was the point of the comment in a round about manner. Another woman sometime later was talking to my wife and stated something to the effect that I finally was starting to get a cyclist's physique. At first I thought this was cool, but then I started to turn it negative. My thoughts ran along the lines of: So was I just a fatass before? "Starting" to get a cyclist's physique? So I still have a long ways to go or what? Hmmph. Leave it to me to turn a well meaning comment into something sinister.
I got to spend time talking with Rob Felt there at the get-together. He works at adidas and he is apparently almost famous for being to first person to licence a song on an Iphone. He rides and commutes on a cool 1970's (maybe early 1980's) lugged Bridgestone with stainless steel main tubes. Very cool. It was a fixie too. It is currently his only ride and while I am sure he could buy something new, he prefers the old stuff. I can appreciate that, but I would have a hard time having a fixie as my only ride. But he rocks it. Maybe he was waiting for Adidas to buy a cycling company before he bought a new bike so that he could get a deal, kidding. I did find out from him that until recently Adidas owned Mavic, something I did not know. Anyway we hit it off and we could have talked for much longer except that the boys and wife were getting restless. I wish I had a camera with me I would have taken a pic--it was a cool old bike. His wife told Bridget that she was glad that he found someone to talk bikes with because she was sick hearing about them and she tunes him out usually. Bridget, of course, realizes that it doesn't matter how much I talk about bikes, I can always talk more. So, for me at least, talking to someone about bikes does not really relieve any internal pressure for me to blab about bikes. The desire to talk about them is always there, just sometimes it resides just below the surface of my consciousness.