Early in the year, my usual gym companion and I ran to the gym. After he hurt his foot we started to drive. Friday we cycled – it’s about 2 miles – why on earth haven’t we been doing that all summer?
It’s odd, but I guess I think of the bike as a hobby and not as an everyday means of transport. How stupid of me. It was a really good hour at the gym – and very enjoyable.
We went to Bournemouth later on Friday – we are ‘lending’ the house to some friends and needed to make sure it was clean and ready for them. A tough couple of days but there is something about the sea that makes you feel like you’ve had a holiday, even if it’s been spent cleaning. It was windy and wet but we had a great time, not least finding a restaurant we’d not tried before – a Spanish Tapas bar – which was brilliant.
Back home on Sunday (without even time for a run down the promenade) and I couldn’t wind myself up sufficiently to get on the turbo that evening – and felt all the better for that. I thoroughly enjoy exercise – running, cycling, gym or otherwise – but there are time when not exercising is even better. In fact, it was so good I ended up doing nothing on Monday either. It’s rare that I don’t exercise for four days but perhaps I needed it?
On Tuesday I cycled to the gym and spent a happy 50 minutes there. With a decently quick cycle there I can focus on the weights rather than the cardio. Mainly, I use the leg machines but am incorporating sit-ups, the plank regime, some machines for the arms and some stretches (just for show, of course).
In the afternoon, I tinkered – a word to strike terror into anything tinkered with. This time it was both my carbon bikes – the Rose X Lite and the Giant TCR2.
I bought the Giant from ebay and got a M/L size. It had a 130mm stem on the bars – too much of a stretch for me, but I didn’t know any better.
When I bought the Rose, I was between frame sizes – the UK rep said go a size up, the German advice was to go a size down. I followed the German advice but bought a longer stem to compensate, if necessary.
Four years later I got around to fitting the new stem. I’d measured the two bikes, saddle tip to bars, and found that there was about 6cm difference between them (the Giant being the bigger). Swapping the Giant’s 130mm stem for the Rose’s 90cm and putting the new 110cm stem on the Rose means that measurement is now the same for them both.
The ‘rough and ready’ guide that when cycling up on the handlebars, the bars themselves should block out the front axle is now satisfied on both bikes (having been satisfied on neither before). But have I improved both or just messed them both up?
As I refine the angle of the bars, and find out if any consequential changes are needed, I’ll find out. I’m a bit nervous, I must admit.