Just over two years ago we had our “proof of concept” ride, a trip out to the coast to make sure it was going to be possible to use folding Bike Fridays to tame the mountains of France. Today it was time for a shake-down cruise, our Bike Friday’s no longer needing to prove their capabilities, just needing to make sure everything was in good order for our date with the Pyrenees later this week.
Today’s ride was exactly the same route I took on Wednesday, deliberately chosen so I could tell how much difference there really is between a semi-loaded Bike Friday and my pretty-darned-awesome carbon Trek Madone. About 10%. As in, each of the climbs took pretty close to 10% longer to climb on the Bike Fridays as on the Madones. We can live with that.
This trip it’s going to be tough keeping Kevin under control; today, on Tunitas, he ditched me fast when it was time to try and catch some guys who’d just passed him. And yes, it totally went to his head when they told him that he was pretty Bad-A cranking so quickly on a bike with small wheels. Me? I got passed by a few guys too, but something interesting that I discovered is that my top speed has been somewhat self-limited on some of my rides; if I push down harder on the pedals, I go faster. Sounds obvious, but on the morning rides, I’m so limited by breathing issues that I never really get the chance to stomp on the pedals and kinda forgot that I could. A long way of saying that, when an extremely-fit woman from Orinda caught up to me just as it starts to get less steep, I was able to hang with her the rest of the way. No record times, about 50 minutes or so, but I felt pretty good about the day. I’m ready for the Pyrenees!