Saddle Demo at ARB Cyclery

You are probably excited when getting a new carbon bar, or even a new carbon stem. But there doesn’t seem to much love for our old friend the saddle. For many people, bicycle saddles are just ‘there’. They exist for you to sit on so you can ride your bike. Even with the new carbon shelled and railed saddles, they just don’t seem to generate the same level of excitement as other components. More often than not, people use whatever saddle comes with the bike they purchase. If it’s initially a bit uncomfortable, they attribute it to a “break-in period”. This is true in some cases, but that doesn’t change the shape or the cutouts of the saddle which are areas that often play a more important role in saddle comfort than padding density. It’s like your desk chair. It usually isn’t the most comfortable thing to sit on, but you just deal with it. When you start thinking about it, why should you just “deal with it”? You spend so much time in it, it would be a worthy investment to make sure you aren’t hurting yourself.

ARB Cyclery Saddle Demo
ARB Cyclery Saddle Demo

Other times, it seems like I overhear people saying that they chose their saddle because they liked the way it looked or the color matched their bike better than other saddle options. OK, that might just be me. But the more I find myself riding, the more importance I place on my comfort instead of aesthetics. It is common to fall into the trap of getting a saddle for a great price without taking comfort into consideration. The mentality is, “if I can save some money on that saddle, surely I can deal with any discomfort it will bring”.

It’s understandable. Saddles aren’t cheap, and you might just have to deal with the saddle you buy if you’ve spent a good amount on it. Similar to shoes, you don’t really know how it will work out for you until you actually use it. So when you think about it, is that deal actually worth it in the long run? Fortunately, we have a saddle demo program right here at ARB Cyclery! As mentioned in a previous blog, I came from riding a full carbon saddle with no padding. It looked really slick and catered to my desire for weight reduction. It was quite literally a pain in my ass. I knew I had to switch to something else after going on rides with the other guys from the shop, but I had no idea where to start. Being on the small side, the only thing I was sure of was the need for a narrow saddle. But in today’s saddle market with hundreds, if not thousands, of options, picking a new saddle is quite a daunting task. I don’t like committing to a purchase of an item I don’t know much about, and reading the hundreds of subjective reviews online were doing nothing for me. It just made things even more confusing.

Utilizing the saddle demo program allowed me to test multiple saddles. I figured out that I was more comfortable on a saddle with a channel. I figured out I needed a medium amount of padding. I figured out how much flex I preferred in the saddle shell. Prior to testing out the actual saddles, I had my eye on the Selle Italia SLR saddle simply because of the look. Then I actually tried it out, and decided there were better options for me. I finally ended up choosing the Fizik Antares VS, and it is by far the best fit for me. I’ve done a metric century on this saddle and my rear end was thankful. And as a bonus, even though I put aesthetics behind comfort this time around, it looks damn fine. I was also pretty close to going with the new Brooks C15 saddle, which looked and felt great. It’s styling is certainly a very attractive feature, and it felt more comfortable than it looked. The rivets add a level of class to it that would have matched my titanium frame quite well, but the feel of the Antares came out on top.

My Fizik Antares VS with carbon rails
My Fizik Antares VS with carbon rails

Everyone is going to be different when it comes to saddle. There is only so much advice that we can give you, and a recommendation from me may not do it for you. The best thing you can do is to come in yourself and demo new saddles! If you mention this blog post when you come in for a saddle demo, you will also receive a Zjay’s Saddle Sore Soother (while supplies last)! We want to make sure you have a comfortable experience. Your butt will thank you for it.

 

Cycling Nutrition Explained

Food is great. Everyone likes food, and it’s pretty simple. You eat when you’re hungry right?
That’s what I thought when I embarked on my San Diego to Los Angeles ride with my friends. (If you missed out on that adventure, you can read more about it here). Long story short, we greatly underestimated the amount of food we needed. That could have been avoided with a little more planning. But, more importantly, I now know how important it is to eat before you start getting hungry. Chances are, if you’re riding super long distances and you start getting hungry during the ride, it might already be too late.

At a glance, nutrition seems to be pretty simple and intuitive. You walk up to the shelves and you pick up anything that looks appealing just like you would at the snack isle at the supermarket. Salted caramel is my personal weakness, and I used to just pick up a random product based solely on the flavor. But if you ever spend a little extra time looking at all the different options, you start to realize there are so many different types of nutrition, and each package seems to be covered in marketing speak. It’s certainly hard to decipher and understand, especially if you’re still relatively new to cycling. However, once you understand the differences and the specific uses for each type of nutrition, you can make sure you’re eating the proper stuff in any given situation.

At this point, you might be thinking, does it really matter what I’m eating as long as I’m eating? Well, it depends on the length of your ride. If you are cycling for under 2 hours, it probably doesn’t matter too much if you are grabbing a gel, bar, or chew. However, when you start spending a lot of time in the saddle on a ride, your ability to digest food decreases as blood is being diverted away from your stomach to other parts of your body. What this means is that 4 – 6 hours in, you’re not really going to want to wolf down a harder to digest power bar at that point. I know I’ve felt funny before eating super-dry bars near the end of  a long ride and I just dismissed it as a consequence of last night’s Taco Bell binge dinner.Osmo Nutrition Preload Hydration

Here’s my personal timeline example of what I’d be eating if I were to spend 4+ hours on the bike.

  1. (Optional) For certain rides, you may opt for pre-workout nutrition. Think of pre-workout nutrition as a preventative option. If you know you’re going to be working super hard on a ride, a pre-workout supplement can certainly help you feel better during your ride. Osmo Preload Hydration would be my go-to choice in this category. They recommend you take a serving the night before and another serving 30 minutes before your ride. If you’re not a huge fan of breakfast like me, something like this will help me stomach food a little easier earlier in the ride.
  2. Skratch-Labs-Matcha-and-Lemons-2-300x214Water is boring don’t you think? As a kid, I was always a huge fan of Gatorade and other sports drinks such as Propel. Flavored water just helps me drink more so I tend to find it easier to stay hydrated. Osmo makes a during-exercise hydration mix, but I personally prefer Skratch Lab’s pineapple flavored hydration mix. This power contains electrolytes among other useful nutrients that plain water simply does not have. Skratch labs also has a matcha + lemon flavor that I’ve been itching to try as it is naturally caffeinated. This is a big plus for those super early sunrise rides. Naturally, with two bottles, you can always dedicate your second bottle to just water.Rip Van WAffle
  3. As I mentioned previously, if you need to eat, eat before you get hungry. And if you’re going to eat your solid food, you’re going to want to do that in early stages of your ride. Any bars of your choice would be a good option here. Personally, I love the Rip Van Waffles. I became addicted to Stroopwaffles back when I was first introduced to them years ago, and I was thrilled to see them as an option for cycling nutrition. Alternatively, it makes a great compliment to your morning coffee as well.
  4. Chews would be next on the list. These are going to be easier to digest than your bars, which are relatively dry and harder to digest. Chews do tend to get pretty sticky, so it is recommended to take it with a generous amount of water. Shot bloks were the first chews that I’ve ever tried and I’ve generally stuck with them. They also come with a caffeine option, so if you need that extra kick to get you through your ride, that makes for a good choice. However, I’ve been meaning to try Glukos gummies. I’ve heard that they’re a bit lighter than the Shot blocks which I might actually prefer a bit more.
    Glukos
  5. At this point, you’ve probably been on your bike for a decent amount of time. Stomaching a bar at this point would make my stomach super uncomfortable. The best option at this point would be to take a gel. Gu is my go-to option in terms of flavors. However, these gel shots are still pretty thick and water helps assist you finish off the pack. Again, Glukos seems to have come out with a “light” version gel. The Glukos gel is much more like a liquid, making it easier to consume.
  6. Now that you’ve finished your ride, time for recovery nutrition – pizza and beer! Or doughnuts? You were probably waiting for the part where I tell you its ok to eat 5 doughnuts after your ride. I don’t condone that type of eating, but I’m not going to tell you you can’t do that. Personally, I have a habit of frequenting dirty fast food establishments after a ride, but that tends to be more for the recovery of my soul. Actual post-ride nutrition is high in protein. As mentioned before, Osmo makes specific nutrition for each stage of your riding. If you’re more of a one type does all kinda person, Glukos is the way to go. You can use their powder pre, during, or post-workout.

Each of you will probably develop your own preferences for specific combinations / flavors, but this list should provide you with a starting point for proper nutrition.

 

 

What’s In Your Saddle Bag?

So you’re out on a ride, and your buddies decide to hit some of the dirt section off the side of the bike path. You follow behind them, taking some care not to do anything stupid on your 23mm tires. Just as you reach the bottom of the hill and prepare to launch yourself up the next hill, your bars slip and you barely manage to maintain your balance and keep yourself from being thrown into your stem. Your buddies are having such a great time they leave you behind in a trail of dust.

Lezyne Carbon Multitool
Lezyne Carbon Multitool

Moral of the story? Take the time and check to see that your bolts are torqued down properly. Also, it’s pretty important to carry a multi-tool. I was never a huge fan of saddle bags for aesthetic reasons (also my inner weight-weenie cries), and stuck mostly to placing tubes and other items in my jersey pockets instead. However, a multi-tool wasn’t something that I ever carried, because I never thought I’d ever really have a use for it on the road. Funnily enough, on the same ride, one of the screws on my Garmin mount worked itself loose, and that needed tightening down as well. Needless to say, having just started riding more seriously, I didn’t think to have a multi-tool handy and had to ask to borrow one.

arundel-dual-index
Arundel Dual Saddle Bag

I figured that having the tools to change a flat would be sufficient, but you never know what can happen on a ride. More importantly, it’s nice to have a range of tools as well to help someone else who may be in need of assistance. Coming from someone who wasn’t used to utilizing a saddle bag, I figured I could give a couple of suggestions now that I understand the importance of carrying one.  These suggestions are not only great functionally, but are also clean looking.

Personally, I prefer a slightly smaller and more compact saddle bag. There are many options currently available, and depending on the equipment you’re running, there are some choices that stand out. For example, if you happen to be riding a Fizik saddle, you can utilize their nifty clip and buy the Klik bag that attaches directly to the back of the saddle. It comes in both a small and a medium size, so depending on how many things you plan on bringing, you can choose between the two. The medium size would be a good idea for long solo rides when you would want to have two tubes in your saddle bag instead of one.

Alternatively, if you have a different saddle, I personally like the Arundel saddle bag. It comes in a convenient three sizes, and I am currently running the medium.
The small can only really hold a tube and a CO2 inflator, so if you’re planning on bringing a multi-tool, you’re going to want to go with the Arundel Dual. As a bonus, the bag comes in different colored edges. This slight bit of color really pops, and paired with the simplistic design, it’s hard to find another bag that is both stylish and functional.

After you’ve chosen a proper saddle bag, now it’s time to fill it with the essentials!

  1. Tube (s) – You’re going to want to carry at least one of these with you on your rides. Personally, I use Continental Race Lite tubes; weight weenies rejoice!  They’re still butyl and not latex, so no need to deal with a constant loss of air.
  2. CO2 Inflator – I use a hand pump that doubles as a CO2 inflator. I like to have the option of both, but you man find that those mini hand pumps are difficult to pump your tires up to a decent pressure.
  3. Multi-tool – Although I don’t have it yet, I have my eye on Lezyne’s carbon multitool. Carbon fiber replaces your usual alloy side plates, and the bolts holding this tool together are titanium. Not only is the excess weight shaved off from the base of the tools, even the bolts are tapered off. What you have left is a super slick-looking, 80g multi tool.
  4. Tire Boot – This is one of the things that more people tend to forget to pack into their saddle bag. There are many clever ways to come up with a temporary tire boot from empty gel packs, cut up tires, or if you’re feeling particularly epic, a hundred dollar bill should work just fine. However, Park Tool makes a nice adhesive tire boot, and this helps prevent the boot from shifting around, thus making it my personal favorite.
1000-bill-emerrgency-tire-boot
If you’re like me, you use $1000 bills as tire boots.

Other items such as a credit card and a phone end up going into my back jersey pocket for easier access. You want to be able to snap those cycling selfies as fast as possible, so you’re not going to want to have to fiddle around with your saddle bag for that.

If you have any personal favorites that you won’t leave home without, be sure to leave it in the comments below! Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@arbcyclery) as we will be showcasing what the employees here at ARB Cyclery keep in their saddle bags! Be sure to use #undermysaddle to join in on the fun!

 

Bianchi Via Nirone 7 2016 Review & Comparison

“Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three”.

Walking into a bike shop brings about the same feelings as walking into a candy shop as a child. I would venture to say that the feelings of wonderment, awe, and excitement  are comparable to the very nostalgic scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I remember when I went shopping for my first road bike, I walked by rows of gleaming carbon fiber bikes, each looking meaner than the next, some of them with funny looking bars and wheels that didn’t even have traditional metal spokes. There were all sorts of oddly-shaped helmets, shoes with odd attachments on the bottom, and pedals that weren’t even flat! To a beginner like me, the world of cycling was truly fascinating.

As fascinated as I was, I still lacked fundamental knowledge as to what made a bicycle “good”. At the time, all I was familiar with was a little silver bike I had ridden 10 years ago as a kid. I wanted to try it all, every kind of chocolate, every flavor of gum, every color of gummy bear, but I had no idea where to start. Thankfully, the great thing about walking into a bike shop is the knowledge the bike staff has. If you go to them with your specific needs, chances are a good bike shop will tailor your bike selection to do exactly what you need it to do. However, I personally like to learn, and to be prepared. It is always useful to do a little research yourself, not because I don’t believe what the sales people are telling me, but because I want to understand and be able to carry on the conversation and ask meaningful questions as I’m shopping.

Fortunately for you, I understand how difficult it can be to pick that very first road bike of yours. There is an art to balancing value, aesthetics, short and long term goals when it comes to deciding on a bike. I did my best to pick something that I believe will hit all of those areas. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll understand that I view aesthetics as a pretty important factor when I buy things. I am also impressed when a company pays attention to details.

Bianchi’s attention to detail and their awesome headbadge.

Enter Bianchi. If you want to talk about history, heritage, and aesthetics, say no more. Bianchi is the oldest bicycle manufacturing company that is still in existence. The company was founded in Italy back in 1885, and if you aren’t necessarily familiar with the name, you may be familiar with a specific color that they are known for. That beautiful green-blue color, know as Celeste, is one of the things that Bianchi is known for. If you take a look at the Via Nirone 7, which is actually named after the first shop that Edoardo Bianchi started manufacturing bicycles in, the attention to detail is evident. The cable housing even has a Celeste-colored stripe running along it to compliment the other Celeste-colored areas. And if we’re talking about aesthetics, I think that Bianchi has one of the nicest looking headbadges out there.

DSC_0889
Via Nirone 7 Sora – Click to zoom.

If you look at the Via Nirone 7, you’ll notice that it definitely stands out among similar level bikes from other companies such as the Giant Defy 3. The Italian-designed Bianchi will certainly turn more heads on the roads compared to the mass-produced, vanilla style of the Defy. These two bikes are equipped with the same Sora groupset, so let’s look at some additional differences. For one, the Bianchi is equipped with Vittora tires instead of Giant’s in-house tires. Secondly, the paired spoke design on the Via Nirone 7 certainly looks much cooler as well. In terms of value of the bike, the Via Nirone 7 is great because it comes standard with a carbon fiber fork! With both bikes in the same price range of just under $1000, who wouldn’t choose the heritage and styling of the Bianchi?

If you’re still uncertain that you will get into the sport of cycling (which I truly believe you will once you commit), you may be a bit hesitant to spend that amount. If you’re still looking to test the waters of cycling, you can opt for a Via Nirone 7 with a lower spec groupset. The Via Nirone 7 can also be purchased equipped with Shimano Claris, which is one tier under Sora. You’ll sacrifice a 9-speed drivechain for an 8-speed drivechain with Claris, but you’ll save almost $200 in the process. The best part of the Claris model is that it still comes with that carbon fork! While a carbon fork may just sound fancy, there is actually a great benefit of having one. When you compare the ride quality of the Via Nirone 7 Claris to the Giant Defy 5 (Claris equipped), you’ll notice a difference on the front end of the bike. The Giant has an aluminum fork. A carbon fork will actually absorb much more of the road vibration, and what this translates into for you is greater comfort and less fatigue. For only $800, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

DSC_0897
Via Nirone 7 Claris – Click to zoom.

Regardless of which model you choose, you certainly won’t be disappointed. I suggest you come in-store and give both these bikes a spin around the parking lot. If you have any questions, or just want to come in and chat about all things cycling, we encourage you to do so. If you’re looking to take your new Bianchi out for a ride but are still trying to learn the ropes, we have the ride just for you! Take a look at the Cycle to Fitness ride we do every other Saturday and we’ll have you addicted to cycling in no time!

New

SoCal Endurance Lab Now Offers Cleat Fit Service

That’s Right! You no longer have to purchase an entire bike fit to get your cleats to better suit your needs as a rider.
The SoCal Endurance Lab is Orange County’s premier facility for evaluating and improving endurance athlete performance, with a primary focus on cycling and triathlon.

A bike fitting is just one of the services that the Endurance Lab provides. The other two services are coaching (which you can read about here) and VO2/Fitness Testing. We have done a five-part video series explaining this process — here is the first one.

The Lab offers four types of fits for someone who has an existing bike, as well as those who buy a bike from ARB. Our fits can be done on any type of bike including road, mountain, triathlon/time trial, cyclocross, commuter/hybrid and touring.

You can read more about these different services on our website www.aroadbike4u.com or by clicking HERE.

If you buy a pair of cleats (worth $225 or more) through the month of September you will receive a complimentary cleat fit! (A $75 value!)

Come in to A Road Bike 4U to see all the sidi-five-carbon-composite-mega-road-shoestyles we have to offer, including the Sidi Five Carbon pictured in this post. We can’t wait to help you find the best cleats to meet your needs, and ensure they fit for you too.

We are located at the corner of Red Hill Ave. and Main St. in Irvine, CA.
We look forward to seeing you soon!

25 Common Cycling Problems and Their (Sometimes) Quick Solutions

Got A Creaky Crankset? Noisy

Brakes? We Have The

Solutions.

From the Editors at www.bicycling.com


 

You fixed a puncture flat, but your new tube keeps going flat

Sometimes the rim strip is out of position (especially if the hole in the tube are in the bottom) which allows the tube to get cut by the spokes. If the hole is on top of the tube, there may be a small sharp object stuck in the tire. Find it by running your fingers lightly around the inside of the tire, and remove it.

A remounted tire won’t sit right on the rim

First, remove the air from the tire and wiggle the bad spot around. Re-inflate the tire to about 30psi and roll the bad spot into place with your hands. Push the tire in toward the middle of the rim so you can see if any of the tube is poking out. When the tube is fully inside the tire, inflate as normal.


A patch won’t stick to the glue on the tube

Apply more glue and let it dry completely, about five minutes (DO NOT BLOW ON THE GLUE) When you apply the patch, avoid touching its sticky side with your fingers.

A creaking sound from the wheels

A spoke may have loosened. If tension is uniform, the sound might be caused by a slight motion of the spokes against each other where they cross. Lightly lube this junction, wiping off the excess.



A creaking sound when you pedal

Tighten the crankarm bolts. If the arm still creaks, remove it, apply a trace of grease to the spindle, and reinstall the arm.

 

The large chainring flexes, and the chain rubs against the front derailleur cage.


Check for loose chainring bolts

You have removed the chainrings to clean the crankset, but now the front derailleur doesn’t shift right. 

You may have installed a chainring backward. Remove the rings and put them on correctly. Usually, the crankarm bolts fit into indentations on the chainrings. Sight from above too, to make sure there’s even spacing between the rings.

While trying to remove or adjust a crankarm you stripped the threads- Now you can’t remove it

Ride your bike around the block a few times. The crankarm will loosen and you’ll be able to pull it off.


Shifter housing rubs the frame, wearing a spot in the frame

Put clear tape beneath the housings where they rub.

 

Noisy sloppy shifting can’t be remedied by rear derailleur adjustment

The cassette lockring might be loose, allowing the cogs to move slightly and rattle around on the hub. You need a special tool to tighten the lockring fully, but you can spin it tight enough with your fingers to ride safely home or to a stop.



The cog cassette is getting rusty

A little rust won’t damage the cogs quickly, so it’s not a major concern. Usually, using a little more lube will prevent additional rust, and riding will cause the chain to wear away the rust while you’re pedaling.

In certain gears, pedaling cause loud skipping

There may be debris between the cogs. If you can see mud, grass, leaves, twigs, or any sort of foreign matter trapped between cogs, dig it out. It’s probably keeping the chain from settling all the way down onto the cog to achieve a proper mesh. If there’s no debris, a cog is probably worn out. Most often this is a sign that the chain and cassette will have to be replaced.

Front derailleur won’t shift precisely to a chainring

Check that the cage is parallel to the chainrings (when viewed from above), and loosen and reposition the derailleur if necessary. If it’s parallel, you probably need to adjust the high- and low-limit screws, best done by a shop.

The rear derailleur makes a constant squeaking noise

The pulleys are dry and need lubrication. Drip some light lube on the sides, then wipe off the excess.

Braking feels mushy, even though the pads aren’t worn out

The cable probably stretched. Dial out the brake-adjuster barrel (found either on the caliper or on the housing closer to the lever) by turning it counterclockwise until the pads are close enough to the rim to make the braking action feel as tight as you want.

Braking feels grabby

You probably have a ding or dent in the rim. This hits the pad every revolution, causing the unnerving situation. Take your bike into the shop.


One pad drags against the rim or stays significantly closer to the rim than the other

Before messing with the brakes, open the quick-release on the wheel, recenter the wheel in the frame and see if that fixes the problem. (This is the most common solution.) If the wheel is centered but a pad still rubs, you need to recenter the brake. On most modern brakesets this is done by turning a small adjustment screw found somewhere on the side or top of the caliper. (There may be one screw on each side, as well.) Turn the screw or screws in small increments, watching to see how this affects the pad position. If you center the brake and the wheel, and a pad still drags on the rim, it probably wore unevenly from being misadjusted; sand the pads flat and recenter everything.

 

With each pedal stroke you hear a click coming from the saddle

The pedal may have loosened. Tighten it.

Squealing Brakes

Wipe the rim to remove any oil or cleaning reside. If this doesn’t work, scuff the pads with sandpaper or a file. Still noisy? The pads need to be loosened, then toed in; an adjustment that makes the front portion touch the rim before the back- an easy fix for a shop, a tortuous process for a first timer.

Creaking Saddle

Dip a tiny amount of oil around the rails where they enter the saddle, and into the clamp where it grips the rails. Heritage purists take note: Leather saddles sometimes creak the same way that fine leather shoes can. There’s not much you can do about this.

You can never remember which way to turn the pedals

Treat the right-side pedal normally — righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. The left side pedal has reverse threads (to keep it from unscrewing during pedaling). If that’s confusing, just remember this simple phrase: Back off. This can remind you that, with the wrench engaged above the pedal, you ALWAYS turn toward the back of the bike to remove the pedal.

You installed a pedal into the wrong crankarm – The left pedal into the right arm or vice versa

You can remove the pedal, but the crankarm will have to be replaced; its threads are softer than the pedal’s and are now stripped out. ALWAYS check the pedals before installing. There is usually an R for right or an L for left stamped onto the axle.

You pulled apart your headset to regrease it, and now the headset feels tight no matter how you adjust it

The bearing retainers are probably in upside down.

 

Come visit ARB for all your maintenance needs.
We are located at the corner of Red Hill Ave. and Main St. in Irvine, CA. You can reach us by phone at (949) 752-2080

In Da Club: A Newbie Gets the Nod

So I knew there was a club.  I just didn’t think that I was a member.  Not yet.  Not when I just figured out that you need to unscrew the top of the valve to put air in the tires.  Or that you don’t wear underwear with your riding shorts (never should have listened to my wife).

But I guess I am in, because now when I ride with all my A Road Bike 4U gear on, guys nod at me.

They never did that before.

It must have been because I was riding a 12 year old Trek mountain bike with slicks and platform pedals. My weekend warrior attire consisted of running shoes, basketball shorts and a t-shirt.

Huffing and puffing…

 

When In Doubt Clip Out

That isn’t me in the above video but it may as well be.  As a newbie, I am finding out the hard way the limits to my cycling skills and overall coordination.  Last weekend I was ten minutes into my ride, feeling pumped to be on the road and excited for a solid one hour ride (I can’t last much longer than that at the moment) when I yet again took a tumble because I did not anticipate someone crossing my path.  And I learned a very simple lesson: when in doubt, clip out.

I don’t know why I think it’s cooler to stay clipped in because it certainly isn’t safer.  So now even if I think there is a slight chance of having to stop, that’s it, I’m out.

In between falls the riding has been awesome and I am quite hooked for sure.  It’s like being a kid again.  I think that is the one thing that makes it special for a middle-aged weekend warrior.  There are not many sports you can do that make you feel young.  Everything makes you feel old.  But cycling is one foot in front of the other.  And it’s a total thrill if you can avoid the newbie mistakes.

Like not understanding how the tires inflate.

So I noticed that my tires had gotten quite low after ignoring them for the first few rides.  I grabbed my pump and place the nozzle on and started to pump.  One pump, two pumps three, nothing going in.  What the heck is going on?  Is my pump defective? Is there another way to do this? I went online and typed “how to inflate road bike tires” and an ehow video gave me the secret.

So now I know I need to unscrew the top and that is a good thing.

What else am I doing wrong?

Well I’m not riding with a spare tube and patch kit.

I have yet to move my water bottle cage from my old mountain bike to my new bike.

I don’t have a computer/speedometer installed.

Right now I’m just trying to feel comfortable in the saddle and not fall.  My rides are one-hour lunch rides, which I have to say are changing my life for the good.  No more 2 o’clock food comas!  And my kids eat with me at dinner time instead of missing me because I’m working late or went to the gym.

It’s just such a convenient and easy sport to embrace. I can see how the guys who have been cycling for years get so addicted.

I had some doubts at first when I was falling and going through the initial pain.

But the beauty of cycling is you can clip out one day and clip right back in the next.