I pedaled over to the start, the first outing on the newly re-assembled Rivendell Road Standard. I got the frame and fork, well used, from someone in the PNW, over on the 650B list. Jon intended to build this bike up for his wife but the project didn't happen. It's a 54.5 CM frame, normally too large for me, but I know Riv geometry is such that you can usually sit on a large frame than you would otherwise. After building the bike up in Jan 2009 as a 650B, I put several thousand happy miles on it before deciding it deserved fresh paint. The paint job was done by Hill Clarke over at Airglow in Washington, GA. It took longer than expected, but came out nicely. Some of the painting touches were Hill's idea, some my son Alex's, and the basic scheme was mine. Sharon suggested the green saddle and bar tape to pick up the dark green lines in the decals, which are hard to see in pictures. Design by committee and it came out great! Judge for yourself:
I wanted this first ride to be close enough to home that I could bail if something did not go according to plan on the rebuild.
When I got to the meeting area, I met Rick Mims, on his freshly repainted '74 Raleigh, new rider Jody, and my friends from church, Rick and Joan Clark. Rick and Joan have ridden the Sunday relaxers before but this was their first real road ride "out in the world." Jody knows Mark over at Chain Reaction Cycles, and bought the Specialized Roubaix that Mark had and never used, other than as a display in hopes of generating some sales. Jody will make sure it does not just hang in a window, gathering dust.
There was a stiffer than forecast breeze and it was still cool at 10 AM when we started. Heading out into the wind, we looked for an assist coming back in. Pace was a comfortable 13 - 14 average most of the way. Rick Mims was hindered on hills with a 1/2 step double and no granny. He made it up all of them anyway. Joan didn't want to mess with that shifting thing so she was stomping some very tall gears up hills. Good thing she goes to the gym every day and has capable legs. By her 3rd or 4th hill, I think she found the brifter lever that engaged the smaller chain ring though :) Here she and husband Rick are, motoring on Doster Rd after climbing the hill.
Rick seemed to have no trouble with any of it. We turned out of the wind when we reached the SW limit of travel on Wadsworth loop and enjoyed a bit of a push on Golson Rd through Indian Hills. I got to know Jody a little better as he and I spent most of the time riding together. At one point, just because it felt good, I wound it up on the flat of Powell Rd and pulled at 25 mph. Not for long, but it was a joy to be able to motor again. It seems like forever since I've had any gas in the tank. Most of the time though, we were just enjoying the day. After the first little climb, we were certainly warm enough. I wore merino skin tights under MUSA pants and was almost too warm below. A Riv merino Tee under a Joneswares Robinson L/S jersey was perfect up top. I took everyone's pulse at the Prattville store store (mile 28) to see who wanted to tackle our only rated climb of the day, or go around it. We'd have to go up a more gradual 2 mile climb to get to it of course. It was pretty unanimous that going around was just fine. So we did the gradual up and then forked right instead of left. That gave us a total of 35 miles instead of 44, but we still climbed about 1,450'. Since I pedaled to and from my house, I had 40 miles and 1,750' if the Garmin is to be believed.
The bike behaved basically okay, but I did a little adjusting back at home. My seat was a little sore (no padding) from the initial ride on a new Brooks, but that's not unusual and will get better as soon as it breaks in a tad.
On Sunday afternoon (warmer than Saturday but still cool and with a breeze), there was the club relaxer ride, which was posted as family friendly. I am a fan of kid accessible rides. Start them out safely, riding properly from a young age and you develop good cyclists for a lifetime. We had 2 boys and a girl, and 11 adults along. 2 were first timers, one was a 2d timer and one is an avid runner and almost never cycles. One of the new cyclists spilled while standing in the parking lot. She reached with her foot for her pedal to click in and missed. To be honest, I did not cover clip in during the pre ride safety check. Fortunately she did not spill later while on the roll. Another rider had a flat front tire, which I changed quickly. I took her tube home to check for leaks and found none. She actually emptied the tube of air when she tried to add air to it, and didn't realize what was happening. I suggested that she learn to change a tube though. When everyone was good to go, we headed out on our 8 mile flat (mostly) route to the store in the next town. There we took a break and headed back. Our youngest rider, at 8, was a bit leisurely so the last riders took their time getting back. It was all good. Lots of conversation and getting to meet new people. Some of similar interest and capability will pair off and find rides to do that suit. I told a couple of the riders that Club Lite or some of our Prattville group rides are certainly in their reach. This day we traveled 16 miles at about 10 mph avg. Typical for a beginner outing.
It was an encouraging turn out and a delight to get so many people riding. As the weather gets milder, they will find plenty of opportunities to continue to stretch their legs and limits.