Today was a 5 mile "Getting to know you" ride on Gigi.
When I rode her home last week I realized that I needed to learn how to shift on a 10 speed again after years of being used to twisting my handle grips to fine tune and change gearing. I also realized I needed a different seat as the one I had was just a bit high and didn't feel right.
This past weekend, when I took Mr. Bear in to the bike store to buy him a new helmet, I also picked up a Serfas seat on sale. Serfas claims they design them to keep pressure off your "plumbing," which reduces numbness. I figured I'd give it a try because it gets a lot of good recommendations.
After watching a couple of "changing your bike saddle is easy" videos on line, I went down to the garage ready to pop the old saddle off and plop the new one on, which is when I realized on MODERN bikes it's just adjust the allen head screws. On VINTAGE bikes, it's a hex nut and holder system. A half hour of cursing and twisting later, I got the saddle on Gigi and off we went for a ride through hilly side streets to relearn gearing.
I learned that she works the same way Bikey does, the left paddle adjusts the 3 chain rings (small, medium and large) and the right paddle is fine tuning. We rode easily on the local bike path as well as on some decent hills so that I am pretty confident that I can go for a long ride in the morning without a problem.
But getting to know you means learning new things about each other. We quickly found how to balance each other out - a bit sketchy at first as she is much narrower than Bikey and has drop handlebars, so I found adjusting my center of gravity was a quick, yet necessary, fix. I also learned her pedals aren't as wide as Bikey's and I tend to ride with my toe on the outside and my heel angled toward the bike, which does not work as well for Gigi.
My bike shop friends recommended I look at the new Shimano clipless pedals and a pair of cycling shoes. I know the current pedals aren't comfortable for me, so I think I'll do a bit of research and see what some other folks have to say as well.
All in all, things are coming together nicely with her and it won't be long before I'm ready for long, long, long rides alone and with others.