Hello blog lovers.
Well, I'm back out on my Specialized! And I have made yet another upgrade to help with the issues of my weak hands pulling on the brakes from the hoods. I went out yesterday, only to get back on my bike, test it out on a shopping trip to the bike shop and post office, but I ended up having this upgrade as well.
The chaps at my local bike shop, Bromley Bike Company, asked me how things were going when I popped into ask about this 'thing' that had broken from the Old Boys bike, and when they started to talk about what could be done I just said "Ok, lets get on and do it"
Now what they did was to change the brake calipers, I now have these ultegra brake calipers! Very posh! And, now this is going to sound really girly again, and really will show off exactly how much I know about bikes, but they look tons better on my 'B-iatch' of a bike! And I am hoping now that with the upgraded braking system, I will hopefully need less power to be able to slow down and stop at junctions, red lights and emergencies and stuff. That's what these new brakes should be able to do.
As they have this dual pivoting thingy-ma-bob, it means that both sides of the brake simultaneously and start braking quicker. I think that is the idea of the whole dual pivot thingy. So on they way back home from the shop, in the pouring rain, it was good to be able to see if it has made an improvement. Well I can tell you, there is deffo a difference. It was raining on the way to the shop, and I on the way there I had to brake hard due to a 'very busy important driving person' and I was just so glad that I wasn't going that fast, yet on the way back, still with the raining, I tested the brakes all the way home. On down hills, and flats, and slowing down for junctions. Fortunately I didn't have a chance to test them in a 'real' situation, but I am feeling a lot more confident that I will be able to stop or slow down when I need to.
And so on to today. I decided I would go out for just a short ride, taking in a hill or two to test out the brakes in the dry. The sun was shining brightly, the sky was blue and the fluffy white clouds looked as threatening as day old chick! I started out and immediately stopped as you will see from my Garmin! I was chatting to the neighbours! And then just as I was about to go I bumped into a friend as well! So I stopped the Garmin and only re-started it when I was going up the first very small hill.
I had no idea where I was heading but I have to have a steep down hill in there to really test out my brakes! The only horrible steep hill that I know, near me, is Summer hill! So I was going to head for there, riding through the streets of Pettswood to warm up, or try and talk myself out of it, or maybe find a less intimidating hill!
Summer hill has always been 'bug-bare' for me, whether running up it or cycling it. But today it was a test, to see if I can regain my confidence in riding faster down hills. As I was riding towards it I tried to visualise myself on the other side, on the up side of summer hill, and I was thinking about which way I was going to go, and for how far I was going to go, anything apart from riding down hill!
I used to love riding down hill, on my white Giant, I had tons of confidence, I could slow down enough that I was haring down, but since I had issues with my hand becoming numb, and now the weakness in it, I have lost all of that. So this is quite a test for me, I am hoping that I can keep a nice steady constant speed down hill, without my hand becoming tired while I hold on to the brakes. But as I started the hill, I found myself going down on the drops, but only with the left hand! Its a real steep hill and I really do need to know that I can slow down safely!
But still, I did it, all other less steep hills were ok, no problems. I just need to keep my ass on the saddle, and do some miles, and while I haven't got much work these days I shall be doing this in the glorious sunshine, like today. Or if it starts to rain while I am out, then I will just have to get on with it, like yesterday! Dealing with the dark, lights from the cars blinding me, can wait till I am totally at ease the 'B-iatch' and I am the one in total control! So far she has had a new shorter stem, (which is where the 'B' came from), seat adjusted, new cushioning in the handle bars, new black tapes and now new upgraded, colour co-ordinated (ish) brake caliper's! What else could she possible want?
Here's to some great cycling on my gorgeous Spesh!
Garmin stats to todays little ride about!