Saturday, 24 January
The big FRM team ride today was from Kenmore to Anacortes via Granite Falls. Of course, a bunch of folks would be turning around at someplace(s) as yet unknown rather than doing the whole, epic ride. Me, I was hoping to get to Granite Falls with the group and then toodle my way home via Lake Roesiger or Monroe. Ha. We got as far as the UW Bothell campus and my rear derailleur cable broke. I sent them all on their way with good wishes and headed home. 9 miles on my 34x12 was interesting; I had to walk about 100 meters at the top of a short, steep hill but otherwise just tried to stay on top of the gear.
At home, it was a simple process to set up my new LandShark for its first real ride, and I was back on the road in a matter of minutes. I had no real plan but headed toward Snohomish. Temps were cold, and I was vigilant for ice. I was a little unnerved in Clearview, where there had been LOTS of freezing fog which was just beginning to drop off the trees onto the road. It was like riding through mini hail storms.
Coffee and raspberry bar in Snohomish, then, what the heck, let's see how much nicer it is to ride the light bike on that bear of a back way to Monroe. Lots nicer, that's for sure. There's one absolute monster of a climb where I pretty much have just one speed. But today I was able to "accelerate" (from 6.4 mph to 6.7 mph) in the last 100 meters. There's also a bunch of draggy 2-3% road on this route, and I absolutely flew along (I'm pretty sure there was a tailwind). There are a couple of nice descents, too, and I was really hoping to get the bike up to 40 mph. I never got over 34, but the bike is rock solid with no little flitters (that's a highly technical bike review term, you know!).
It was a wholly uneventful ride. Nothing got sore from being on a new bike for the first long ride. I kept thinking how nice it was to have a custom bike that fit me, instead of me having to fit the bike. (The only other custom bike I have is the tandem, and there are limits to the custom fit of a stoker compartment.) Near the end of the ride, I realized that it was also my first long ride on a new saddle. I've been riding Avocet O2s on all my bikes for years, but sadly they are no more and I had to find something new for the LandShark. Hooray for Erik Moen's perfect suggestion--I don't even think about what I'm sitting on!
At the end of the day, I'd done 19 miles on my rain bike and 81 miles on the LandShark, the first century of the New Year! The Chinese New Year starts on Monday, so I guess it was good timing. :)
P.S. to Brian, Mr. "Nobody Here Knows What De-Icer Is": There is de-icer all over many, many roads in Snohomish County, on SR 522, in Woodinville, lots o' places. Maybe it's just that nobody in West Seattle knows what de-icer is?