I have known since November that I was going to do this 4K ride, but only recently have I been able to train on my actual 4K bike. The bike itself did not arrive until late March after I reached my first fundraising goal of $4,500 and before that I had mostly been indoors or on the occasional run weather permitting. Since March my rides have been somewhat limited, both by time and my comfort.
But last Friday I got a full fitting on the Guru machine at Bike Doctor in Frederick, MD – wonderful place. The set me up with a new saddle, new higher seat post, and a stem extension. It was overall a wonderful experience, and they even threw in free labor because of my cause! To top it all off they knew I was on a short timeline so they installed my new parts and adjusted my gears/brakes right then and there while I took a lunch trip over to Chipotle I highly recommend this shop!
I ended up getting a Brooks Imperial Saddle. It is kind of scary to look at but I actually really like it. I rode it Sunday for about 30miles and, while not the most comfortable, I already felt an improvement. A second ride yesterday felt even better, so I am hoping it keeps improving as I break in the saddle and my butt, uh…becomes accustomed to the seat. Which brings me to the point – my training.
Yesterday I rode my longest ride yet – a 50 mile trek from Gettysburg out to Michaux State Forest and back via Mummasburg Rd., Buchanon Valley Road, Pine Grove Rd., and Shippensburg Rd. For a little extra distance I added in a quick battlefield tour on the tail end! By that point hills were absolutely killing me but I felt good on the flats! Unfortunately the GPS cut out on me for awhile so I am not sure exactly how accurate the time and average speed are, but it is safe to say I went much further and faster than ever before!
I could really feel the difference from the bike fit. I was much more comfortable on the saddle and felt less pressure in the knees. My new position extended my body, reducing the feeling that I was pinched up to small. I felt much more power throughout my ride and especially felt like I as using my quads so much more. With the help of newly tightened gears I was able to do much better on the climbs. Still though, climbs are the worst – at times I was tempted to get off and walk it but I start in 2.5 weeks and I cannot give in!