Thursday, March 15, 2007

bike upgrades for '07 cycling season

Last weekend I took my bike to the shop for some much-needed maintenance. And I followed through on my long-threatened plan to switch to clipless pedals. I had to invest in a new pair of cycling shoes and pick out the pedals I wanted. On the recommendation of the bike shop guy, I went with Shimano SPD pedals. I picked up the bike last night, and they put me on a bike trainer with my new shoes on so I could practice getting clipped in and out. I spent about 15 minutes trying out the new setup, but a trainer is not the same as riding on the street. I have to plan to practice again in a sparsely populated area, like Carl Schurz Park at 9 AM. Clipping in isn't too difficult. It's the clipping out at a stoplight or in a hurry that worries me. It's the biggest change in my cycling setup since I got my Trek 7500 six years ago.

Speaking of which, the repairman at the bike shop praised my bike several times, saying it was a beautiful bike and that he'd given it careful and loving attention. Or something like that. I wouldn't have things any other way for "Concord." Yes, I've given my bike a name. My brother named his violin, so I can name my bike. It's named after a horse in a Monty Python sketch, specifically the "Dennis Moore" sketch about a mixed-up Robin Hood character who keeps robbing the rich to give to the poor until he realizes that the poor are now rich instead. Based on the sketch, my bike won't be complete until I get a rear rack with a storage bag marked "SWAG."

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