Friday, December 27, 2013

I'm Baaaacckkk! And so, SO happy about it!

Well, it sure has been a while since I have posted here.  Shoulder surgery at the end of October, put me on a bike riding hiatus for a bit.  And of course the holidays also consumed a bit of time.  While I was restricted from outdoor bike riding, I did put my bike on a trainer and "rode" inside.  Not nearly as much as I had planned, or should have, though.  Again, the holidays got in the way.

I bought a CycleOps Mag Bike Trainer from REI online.  Because my bike spits black something when I ride, and I'm not sure why or how to stop it, I also bought a mat to go under it.  I added a CycleOps Climbing Riser Block as well, to stabilize the front wheel and make the bike more level.  This set up has worked pretty well for me.  It's fairly quiet and I can adjust some of the tension by shifting.

My grandson wanted to get into the act too, although he didn't quite understand why I couldn't move across the room with him!

Well, time passed and Christmas came and my son and his wife gave me a new bike for Christmas and my upcoming birthday!  Yippee!  It's a Salsa Vaya 2.  My son customized it just a little bit for me, but in general it is described as
"a touring and road adventure bike, designed to handle any 'road' surface, from pavement, to gravel, to dirt." 
I LOVE it!  It's lighter than my old bike, and is a bit more responsive.  I have much different handle bars as well that give me a variety of positions to use.  It also has disk brakes.  So, my new bike and I have to get to know each other a bit.

Today I went on my first outdoor ride since my surgery!  And it was also my first ever winter ride!

 I had guessed back at the end of the summer what type and weight of clothing I might need for winter riding so that I could take advantage of closeout sales online at REI to purchase last year's models of winter wear.  I guessed pretty well, I think.  Today's ride was in about 30 degree weather.  I wore my chamois and some biking pants that had a very thin fleece lining and were waterproof/windproof in the front.  On top I layered a turtleneck, a long sleeve bike jersey, and a lightweight quilted jacket.  I bought a thin fleece skull cap to fit under my helmet and that along with a scarf kept my head and neck warm.  I wore ankle high boots instead of sneakers, which is what I usually wear to ride, and a pair of knit gloves.  I was warm and comfortable for the whole ride!

It was a mostly cloudy day with no wind.  I rode 9.34 miles.  I didn't go very fast, but I did take some mild hills and continue to learn how to shift and what gears to use on my new bike.  My old bike only had 7 gears, and my new bike has many more.  It wasn't my fastest ride, only about 10 mph, but since I haven't been on the road riding in 2 months, I thought it was pretty good.

 My goal is to ride outside now as much as time and the weather will allow me to for the rest of the winter.  When I can't ride outside, I need to force myself to ride that old friend on the trainer in the family room.  That way, hopefully, by spring I will be in good condition, will maybe have lost a little weight again, and will be really ready to roll!


  1. Lori - You're awesome! A new bike!? Fantastic!!! I'm not brave enough to start off in the snow like you! I think you'll be riding in the 100 mile ride this May with us! Let me know if you need registration info - it is free and you can register now. :)

    1. Tracie, I'm still not sure about the ride in May. I read the requirements and I don't have the right kind of bike, unless maybe I can put thinner tires on it, and more importantly, I don't yet have the speed. It says you have to average 14 mph and I average 10-11 mph with my fastest laps at 12 mph. Might have to keep training for a year and try that ride next year.