Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas on a hybrid

As is my wont these days, I traveled to Florida for the holidays. This time, at my parents' request, I went to their home in Jupiter (on the east coast, just north of West Palm Beach). The airline ticket was their Christmas gift to me. So, while it meant leaving KC at home with friends, I was able to enjoy a mild, pleasant week...vastly different than the ugly weather that assailed Mississippi.

In any case, with a couple of races coming up and IMLP looming, I knew I didn't want to break up my workout schedule too much. And since a little bit of research revealed that shipping or traveling with my bike would cost about as much as renting a bike, I decided that I would rent one. Besides, the whole shipping route requires dismantling and remantling (just made that one up) the bike. 

With tools. 

Yeah. Right.

So, several days before I left, I called a local bike shop that advertised rentals, and not just of the beach cruiser type, but also road bikes. Perfect. Except I'm short and I need a little bike. "If you felt comfortable on a 56, I could get you on one of those." I'm 5'4" and my road bike is a 52. I have very short legs and a long torso. Maybe if I tied blocks to my feet. I settled for a hybrid. 

With a kickstand.


I ended up riding that little Trek hybrid just a bit over 40 miles through and around the neighborhoods of Abacao. San Remo to Greenway to Indian Creek to Central to University to Parkside, around the "Island," and back to San Remo. The entire loop is only about 6 miles, so on a few occasions, repeated it several times with variations taking me on little side streets. The big seat kind of hurt my butt bones, and I found myself having to scootch back frequently (noticed my dad doing the same on his hybrid when we took a little ride together). After so many years of clipping on to my Speedplays, it was odd to just use the platform pedals. When it was a bit windy, I felt as if I should hunch down, but there was no real way to reduce my profile. Just meant I had to work harder. I probably "overdressed" for the hybrid in my fancy padded bike shorts, IMFL bike jersey, and bike gloves. I maxed out at perhaps 15 mph. And, by golly, that kickstand did indeed come in handy.

So, on Christmas day, after downing a Bloody Mary with my bacon and eggs, I found myself tooling around the neighborhood at a comfortable cruising speed of 10 mph. Forty-five minutes later, I took a short jog, and called it a brick. 

In all, I managed nearly every one of my scheduled bike rides and runs while in Florida (alas, no swimming...the pool is heated but the outside was chilly [for me] and I decided to skip it). And I really enjoyed it. Really.

So, Happy New Year to all six of my readers...I hope you find some time to enjoy the view from the saddle of a hybrid this year!

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