Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Lotus and I Conquer the Duece

20 Mile Ride...Check
Proper Send off for the Lotus... Check
Holding back the tears as Becky drives away with the Lotus...Check

As I had mentioned yesterday, I wasn't going to return the Lotus to Larry without a proper send off ride. I hadn't yet done a 20 mile ride, so that was the target last night. I know that I already spilled the beans, but here's the full story.

We were having some furniture delivered so I was stuck inside, envying the beautiful day outside until Becky got home and relived me. I tied on my Nikes, pumped up the tires, and then realized that I had a mileage issue. There is no way that I was going to move my computer to the Lotus for one ride, but I wanted to make sure that I cleared 20 and I wanted to document the ride properly to ensure credit for the mileage challenge. Enter the GPS.

I pulled our Garmin out of Becky's car, and reset the trip settings. The Garmin Nuvi, a wonderful device that makes a great wedding gift (thanks again Jamie and Dolan), measures everything that I needed; mileage, speed, average speed, total trip time and total trip moving time. Perfect. So I pulled my under seat bag from the GT and put it on the Lotus. My cell, and the GPS got shoved into the bag, and off I went. Here's the starting picture. I headed out of the neighborhood and was feeling good. The bike was actually shifting properly, my bike mechanic work paid off for a change. It wasn't until the first hill I came upon that I realized why I wanted to ride this trusty steed one last time. Having to reach for the shifters on the down tube was a total pain, but it made me appreciate the GT and all the creature comforts it has brought me. Gotta love a good upgrade but it sure is easy to forget how good you got it.

I stopped a few miles into it to make sure the GPS was working, it was, exhibit A. So there we were, cruising along, wind in our hair, living the dream. She was actually riding very well, and it felt like we were going pretty fast. We were doing the same down and back loop that normally turns out to be 16 miles, but I took a few side street diversions to add some mileage to it. Here is a picture right after the halfway point. Yes, this is over docmented to be sure, but I thought I'd err on the side of caution. I didn't want my brothers to have any reason to not allow this mileage. This should pretty well prove that I didn't drive around town going 15 miles an hour for an hour and a half.
So things were going well, but I was starting to realize that there were good reasons why I upgraded.
  1. It's not my bike.
  2. I like to shift whenever I feel appropriate. (while fixed, still tough dealing with the down tube)
  3. I like to be able to stop whenever I feel appropriate. (the lotus has some dodgy brakes)
  4. Water bottles cages are a good thing to have on a bike. (by this point I was seriously craving some agua)
  5. A bike that actually fits is a good thing. (I didn't realize how crunched up I was on the Lotus until I got on a bike that's my size.)
  6. Leather and metal toe clips. (yes, I'm totally loving my clipless pedals)

But it's not all bad, there are some things that I'm going to miss.

  1. The unbelievably loud and satisfying CLANG when shifting gears. Seriously, people have turned to see what the heck it was they just heard.
  2. The sense of authenticity that comes with riding a 30 year old "race" bike.
  3. Uhhhh...that's all I can think of, but it's better than nothing.

So, at the halfway point, my moving average was actually 17.6 miles an hour, way faster than my rides on the new bike. Interesting, but not really a scientific study. I think I was a little amped up for this farewell ride, and the wind was at my back the first half of the ride. By the time I made it back home my average was 16.2 and we had made it 20.5 miles. Mission Accomplished. I can now return the Lotus feeling like we completed our journey and now I'm ready to return to my new bike for good. I guess it goes without saying that the max speed on the GPS was not set by the Lotus and me. 86.9 miles an hour, must've been Becky driving.

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