Did I mention how awesome it is to have a great bike shop next door? I've never been that great at taking care of my bikes, though for the most part, I know how and have the right stuff. But since my last bike pretty much rusted up from neglect, when I found out that Pedalhead offers 2 years of free service on any bike you buy there, I was sold.
I'd dropped the bike off on Sunday afternoon, and managed to just squeeze in the door as they were closing shop last night. They only charge if they use parts, which they didn't, so I just walked out with a shinier, well-lubricated bike. I just had to take it for a spin.
N decided to stay on the couch "so you can go faster". I took full advantage, pushing hard the whole way. I flew past four kids on mountain bikes, and a neighbor on a leisurely cruise on my way to the station and across Macleod, in the drop bars the whole way. As I navigated the wheelchair ramp at the station, a couple of the mountain bikers caught up to me (actually, I think it was two different guys), and I felt bad for making them slow down before they rode down the stairs. I used to do that! I don't think the TCX would appreciate it though.
As soon as I got away from the station, it was back to the drops, pushing hard but keeping a good cadence. It's tricky to find that balance between speed/power and high pedal rpms, but I got some good practice on this ride.
I've got a bell, and I use it often on the pathways, especially when I'm screamin' along. I use it on blind corners, whenever I'm passing someone when their back is to me even if they're already off to one side, just in case. And I do keep one hand (usually two) on the brakes. So I think my chances of actually crashing into someone are pretty low. But some people just don't understand the concept of sharing the paths. Pay attention, people! Stay to the right! You don't have to walk three abreast just because there's three of you, and if you do, pay attention! And in-line skaters... why must you wear headphones? I enjoy skating on asphalt, in fact for a few summers it was my primary means of transport. But be aware of the fact that you take up the whole path, don't skate side by side, and pay attention!
I'm not saying that all walkers, skaters or even cyclists are bad. In fact, most of the people on the paths are sensible, and more than courteous. But some people... well, need to pull their iPods out of their heads, and probably put on a brain bucket too.
Even more challenging than dodging people was the hill coming out of the park. This time, I went all the way to the ranch, and up the hill behind it. I thought it would be easier than the Acadia hill. Wrong. I'm pretty sure it's longer, and there's one section at the very top that has stairs parallel to the asphalt. Yeah, roughly 45 degrees. Only for about 10-15 feet, but it took my lowest gear and a lot of will to make it, even standing on the pedals.
From there, I looped back through the community on the "on-street bikeways". I feel another rant coming on about those, but I think I will save it for another post.
Distance: 13km (?)