I should have taken some photos of the process but I was already frustrated enough with the directions and my lack of knowledge of bike part terminology. It took my longer than I imagined it would, but I eventually got it all set up. I headed out on a quick ride to make sure I had put everything together correctly. It was a good thing I did a test run! I rode down the paved trail behind my house and back and by the time I got back, my handle bars were loose and I had to walk the last tenth of a mile to the house. Oops!
Last night I had Joey help me tighten the handle bars and when I set out today, I took a set of allen wrenches just in case. I need to look into a tool kit for the bike for sure! Luckily I didn't have any issues while I was out on my ride today.
I headed out with the idea that I would ride 20 miles but figured I'd play it by ear as I was out. I started from my house and rode on the paved trails over to the park where I often do my long runs. The trails and the park have a lot of rolling hills and it was tough at times but I just kept on pushing. It took me a while to get comfortable with the skinny tires and I took a lot of the turns really slow. I was also a little scared at first of some of the downhill portions. My brakes are not the best so it made me a little nervous. I plan to replace the brake pads and hope that I see a lot of improvement there.
Not too far into my ride, I saw a turtle in the road! I stopped and picked the little guy up and moved him off the road. I recently read about a college student who did a study about turtles in the road and he was stunned to see how frequently people would go out of their way to hit turtles while driving. So of course I had to save the little guy.
I wasn't sure I would be able to start riding again in the middle of the hill but I was in a low gear so I didn't have any issues. I climbed up that hill and road out to the park entrance. I circled back and rode out to the boat launch area. I took a break here and took a few photos.
I then rode a few laps around a loop in the park and savored the incredible downhill on the backside. I had already gone 11 or so miles so I decided to head back toward my house. At that point I had decided that 15 miles would be plenty for the day. I got back to my house and was at 14 so I decided to ride out a half mile and back to finish out the 15. Well, I got out to the end of that path and decided to keep going! I was going for 20!
I rode out on a few neighborhood roads and then by my house again. I had 3 miles left at that point and knew route that would finish up the last 3 miles. I could definitely feel it a bit in my legs and back by this point (I need to raise my handle bars a bit but I don't have a tool to make this happen yet). I did manage to finish out my 20 miles though! I think I finished in about 1:47:xx but I'm not sure...Although I do know that my overall pace was 5:24 per mile (so I could do the math to get my time but eh...). I got home and went to load the data from my Garmin to my computer and it froze. Then when I restarted it, it ate my data! That means I lost the data from my last long run too. Maybe when it finds satellites again the data will reappear?! Anyone ever had any luck retrieving lost Garmin data?
It wasn't a super speedy ride but it was fun and considering how many hills I climbed, I felt pretty good about the pace. By the end of the ride I was a lot more comfortable with the bike for sure. I even tried getting out of the saddle on a few uphill climbs but I'm much less comfortable with that than I am on my mountain bike. Luckily I can climb sitting down in a low gear just fine.