Another milestone

Today I went for a 15-mile ride, the longest since I got out of the hospital.   I rode up highway C to just past the Perry County line, and I felt like I could have kept going indefinitely.  That is, if I’d had some food and Gatorade with me.  There isn’t anyplace to buy any on highway C, at least until Altenburg.  And even then I doubt there’s anything open on Sunday morning.  In any case, I’m committed to taking this one small step at a time, so I’ll be keeping it under 20 miles a day for another week.

Meanwhile, in a display of optimism, I’ve ordered parts for my new bike.  It’s a Surly Long Haul Trucker.  The frame is built for touring.  Steel alloy so it’s springy and comfortable.  High stem so you’re more upright.  Braze-ons to attach every conceivable kind of pannier, rack, fender, etc. and for three bottle cages.  I plan for this to be my commuting bike as well, so it should get a lot of use pretty soon.  I can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, I just rented a van so that our friend Dillon can drive Cabell’s stuff and cats up to Madison, then drive Sophie and her stuff from St. Paul down to here.  I’ve loaded the van with Cabell’s stuff, all but the cats.  They’ll go in carriers as far to the back as possible, so that Dillon can turn up the radio and ignore their pitiful cries.  Mainly Pandora’s, that is.  The others give up and sleep, but she can wail for eight hours straight.

And in a final upbeat note, yesterday was the first time in a month that the high temp was below 90, and today looks likely to be relatively cool as well.  I was getting really tired of near-100 degree days.

6 Responses to “Another milestone”

  1. Reno says:

    Sweet bike! I love steel frames, and touring bikes — my main bike has a Schwinn Voyager frame. I assume you’re going with the cantilever brake option… yes? What parts are you putting on it?

  2. K says:

    Looks nice (not that I’d claim to know what I’m talking about with bikes).

    Is steel better than aluminium? I’m currently considering buying an aluminium-framed road bike… because Edinburgh is so hilly, I want it as light as possible. But I don’t really know how one frame compares to another except as regards the proportions.

  3. Allen says:

    K – Steel is “bouncier” than aluminum (even if you give it an extra ‘i’). Steel will give a smoother ride on rough pavement. A good alloy steel frame can be as light as aluminum, but for a given price, aluminum will be lighter. My road bike has an aluminum frame, and it’s nice on the hills. The touring bike will be heavier, but I’m gearing it so that I’ll be able to climb any hill I want, as long as I don’t mind going slowly.

    Reno –
    Yes, I’m going with cantilever brakes. I’m going to use dura-ace combination shifter/brake levers, largely because I’m used to shifting that way now. Not a big fan of down-tube shifters. The rear derailleur is an ultegra long cage, so I can have a really wide range of cogs. I’ll have a triple crank, of course — haven’t decided on the exact chainrings to use yet. And a leather Brooks saddle, very retro and also, supposedly, very comfortable once you get it broken in to your personal hip bones.

  4. Allen says:

    Oh, and BTW I’m getting the cherry red.

  5. Reno says:

    Of course. Red bikes go faster.

    Nice components!

    I second the verdict on the Brooks saddle. I don’t have one, but I have two Avocet seats, both leather (one the women’s touring, the other the women’s O2 racing) and both are lovely. The touring one got a lot more comfy after I accidentally let it get soaked in the rain one night in camp in NZ and then had to ride on it wet all the next day.

    I detest down-tube shifters. My touring bike has bar-end shifters, my BikeE has grip shifters, and my bike with down-tube shifters is hanging in a warehouse in Portland.

  6. K says:

    I think the alumin(i)um is probably the one for me, as I’m not planning to ride it over cobbles too much, and most of the roads round here are smoothish. The old bike had to put up with a lot of cobbles in Oxford, which didn’t do it much good.

    When I go slowly up hills I always feel as though I’m about to fall off. Probably under the wheels of a bus.

    Cherry red! Good call. I’ve just been on my first bike scouting trip, and was sorry to see that the most appropriate bike in that shop was silvery-lilac (no paint options). The current bike is lilac. I had sworn I wouldn’t get another girly colour.

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