I've finally got back on my bike, I haven't ridden since the Mt. Baker ride in early September. That ride was epic but highlighted some issues I was having with my bike ("highlighted" as in hobbled me).
I avoided riding as I was afraid I'd be hurt again, then I had the vein taken out of my leg (the leg is fine now, btw), and then I got sick, mostly however I was just really lazy and pretty wimpy. As wasn't riding much I decided I'd learn to make some changes to my bike and I slowly acquired the tools to do so:
- Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance - Lennard Zinn
- Chain measuring tool
- Chain break
- New chain (a Wipperman with a quick link, to be precise)
- New bar tape
I took my time acquiring the tools and parts but never seemed to do anything with them until last weekend when I finally took the leap and changed my chain. It wasn't very difficult at all, I took a long time doing it but only because I wanted to be sure I was doing it right. I've since ridden on the trainer and outside for a combined time of 4+ hours and the chain hasn't fallen off and the bike hasn't blown up so I don't think I screwed anything up too badly.
I have a feeling changing my bar tape will be a bit more of a pain in the butt!
Tha big change I've made, however, is that I've changed my saddle. I bought a new seat in the summer as my saddle had a saddle (i.e. - where it's supposed to be flat and horizontal there was a big dip in the middle where it sagged). I never felt 100% comfy on the new saddle but thought I was having trouble breaking it in, I now realize it just never fit. That plus poorly installed (by me) cleats on my new bike shoes definitely didn't help things.
I went to West Point and they properly fit my cleats then Tim and Andrea spet 1.5 hours trying to find me a saddle. After trying pretty much every one in the store I finally decided I like the Trans Am (no, it doesn't have gold detailing a la the 80's sports cars) and have been test riding the saddle for a week. The version I tried is really heavy so I'm ordering in the lighter version, this is helped by the fact that my sponsors, aka Mum & Dad, are helping out with the new saddle. As per usual with my sports purchases, I'm not telling them how much it is, just asking for what they think is a reasonable contribution.
So just in time for the really, really nasty weather I have my bike back. Actually, I didn't mind the weather so much today, it was all the Christmas shoppers who seemed to think that running me over would make it easier to find a parking spot that got to me. When are the holidays over?