So, its been a week since Paddy arrived and yesterday he hit the 50mile mark.
The very first ride was a short but sweet 2.5mile "shake-down" ride. It felt a little odd taking the bike out for the first ride all alone, but I just couldn't wait until Mikey got home. So off I went. He rode like a dream, his skinnier tyres felt ace - and a lot less scary than I thought they'd be. We'd practically set him up perfectly as very few adjustments were needed. The only minor issue was that the brand new SPDs were much tighter than I am used to - I've only ever used Mikeys well worn hand-me-downs. Consequently, there were a few comical moments at junctions, when I forgot I couldn't get my feet out as quickly.
The only other issue wasn't so much as a bike problem but a "Katie problem". Whilst fitting the mudguards, Mikey advised me to be careful when cornering so not to let my feet hit the mudguard. I laughed - telling him that I'm not that stupid. However, no sooner as I got to the first corner his words of wisdom popped into my head and I instantly panicked. Argh! I instantly became paranoid! Noooo! I was all over the place. Cursing, I carried on, promptly pushing these concerns out of my head, navigating around numerous corners without batting an eyelid. Eeeek! That is until it re-popped into my head.... again, it psyched me out and I wobbled through the corner.
Despite these insecurities, that first short ride was generally successful, so I decided that I would follow it with a ride into Penzance to meet Mikey from work. For the first time in ages Marazion was quiet - where had all the tourists gone? It wasn't until I turned onto the sea front that I realised why there were no tourists, the wind was really strong and horrendous (Hahaha! In all my excitement thinking how great Paddy was to ride I hadn't realised that the wind had been in my favour. It wasn't just the skinny tires making me fast.) Eek! Hang on... where had the beach gone. I've never seen such a high tide. The waves were crashing over the coast path. I contemplated taking the by-pass, but as I've never done it, I didn't fancy making my debut during rush hour.
So the coast path it was! I was surprised how easily I managed over the loose terrain of the coast path with these skinnier tyres. Thankfully, the high tide had its advantages - there were very few tourists or dog walkers. I am a dog lover, but the majority of dog walkers along this stretch have no control over their hounds and on every ride there is the sound of me skidding to avoid a collision. The down side of the high tide was the fact that by the time I got there I was saturated - as the crashing waves breached the sea wall and I was showered in salt water. Ah well, good news was that without having any time to worry about it, I had also quickly learnt to navigate over slippy concrete.
The ride home was hard work - going straight into a head wind, but it was great fun. The excitement of the new bike was overwhelming.
Saturday was far too windy to ride so I saved myself for a ride on Sunday with Mikey. This ride was again super but ... Ouch! It wasn't until this 17mile ride that I realised just how uncomfortable Paddy's saddle was. It was like sitting on a plank of wood. (Hmmm, I guess this is what happens if you get a mid range bike... oh no, maybe not, the same saddle comes on some of Treks WSD Madones.) I quickly ordered a 2nd hand Fi'zi:k saddle from e-bay.
On Monday I rode into Penzance again to meet Michael. I was very reluctant as I really couldn't face getting back on that saddle (and didn't have time to faff about and swap saddles over). So begrudgingly I set off. I soon wished that I hadn't bothered - before I'd even left our village there had been two close calls with ignorant drivers. In Marazion a postman - not once but twice - swung out (from being parked on double yellows) into the road, narrowly avoiding hitting me. But worst of all, Paddy's gears were jumping - the cable had obviously stretched and despite two attempts at road side adjustments I failed, so had to ride all the way into Penzance in the smallest gear. To add to my frustrations, the tourists and dog walkers were back in their masses!
Thankfully, Monday had just been a blip and on Wednesday I had a super ride with Michael and Paddy hit the 50mile mark.
Yay and today the postman bought a nice parcel.