Back in the Saddle   2 comments

The evening of the 2012 summer solstice – a beautiful evening here in Edmonton and it was time for me to get back in the saddle – literally and figuratively.

Back in the saddle figuratively because I had not been out on the bike for nearly a couple of weeks. As sometimes happens, life throws you a curveball and mine meant that I had to cancel on my much-looked-forward-to Silver Triangle tour. That disappointment meant I didn’t feel much like riding for awhile. But like they say when you fall off a horse, you’ve just got to pick yourself up and get back in the saddle.

I was back in the saddle literally as I took out the oldest bike in my stable, which is equipped with a classic Brooks leather saddle. This old bike is my first “real” bike, an Apollo MKIV. I will have to dedicate a future post to it, but for now I will say it is my road bike, the one I use for just going fast (which is all relative of course). The Apollo was my all purpose bike back in the day, used for recreational riding and touring. It was equipped with fenders and a rack and was what I rode on my first tour in France. Today it is stripped down to the essentials, with narrow high pressure clincher tires. The biggest change to the bike is the pedals I put on a few years ago. I replaced the traditional metal platform pedals with the small ones that cleats clip into. I love the way these pedals make me one with the bike (and occasionally “too-one” when I have not unclipped before stopping.). The seat however is still that comfortable old leather saddle – they can take a long time to break-in but once you have …

This evening ride was great – the sun was shining brightly and the temperature around 20C. I rode a relatively flat route through the Edmonton river valley and covered 28K. One other “feature” of this road bike that differentiates it from my touring bike is the gearing, which has a very narrow range. My lowest gear is something like a 48-24, so on the couple of times that I had to climb out of the river valley it was notĀ  a leisurely sit-back-in-the-saddle climb. It was a standing-up, rocking from side to side type of climb – but I felt powerful and I liked it!

Now that my big tour plan is behind me it is time to focus on my next goal, which is the one-day Tour de l’Alberta ride at the end of July. I am now thinking that I will probably ride it in the saddle of the old Apollo.

 

 

Posted June 25, 2012 by Randy Talbot in Recreational Riding

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2 responses to “Back in the Saddle

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  1. Great to hear from you again!

    I’ve been a bit in a slump lately too, but am revving up for my big trip in a couple weeks.

    I’ll be hitting the roads around SW Michigan along Lake Michigan this weekend and on 7/5 my HUGE very first touring expedition begins:

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1355772

    Don

    • Thanks Don. Nice to hear from you too. Your upcoming expedition looks like a good one. How many days will you be taking to do it? Will you be doing it self-supported? Have fun!
      Randy

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