new-old rivvy longlow
After previously struggling to make the All-Rounder the perfect bike I hadn't suspected it of being, I was left with a glaring reality: What about the Rivvy?
Well, ultimately I had to see if I could run drops on the Rivvy again and be happy with it. I want to have a drop-bar bike in the stable so when I need those longer unencumbered rides I can hop on and just go for them. So, after some tweaking and a few changes (including a shorter stem and some new bar tape), I'm running drops on the Rivvy again.
It's not perfect in that angels-singing-and-sunbeams-shooting-down-from-the-clouds sort of way, but its good enough for now. I am pretty comfortable on it and am giving myself plenty of adjustment time (it's been months since I last rode a drop-bar bike regularly and there are the usual wobbles that come for someone who's more comfortable on uprights).
That said, the larger, looking truth is that I may be be getting to a point where I cannot ride drops comfortably anymore, which would make very long rides harder (since I can't change hand/torso positions on uprights and that is not so fun on any ride longer than about 15 miles). Still, I am scheduling one longer (20- to 40-mile) ride a month between now and April and we'll see how it goes.
A final note: Tonight I tried a Spinning class at a local gym. Oh my it was SO hard. Made my head spin, I saw lights, drooled and gasped for breath until I could figure out that pushing myself did not mean emulating the instructor's every move -- she's easily 15 years younger than me, if not more; and she does this three times a week. It also took some time to learn how to use the Spinning bikes; you cannot suddenly stop pedaling and expect to simply coast on one of these things, and that is the point -- you spin, for an hour. You turn the cranks at varying levels of resistance/ease/difficulty and you Just. Keep. Pedaling. Period. The loud house music helped maintain a rhythm and the instructor's low-key but cheerful vibe was certainly better than trying to do this on a trainer in my shed with no one else there. (That's why people do these things in groups. It's easier to push yourself when others around you are suffering, too.)
At the end of the hour I found it strangely compelling, and knew that I would come back next week to do it again (I figure that with all the bike commuting I do through the week, one intense bike "ride" a week is plenty to start with). My own bike felt very wobbly for the first half-mile home. Two hours later I am still feeling baked. I expect to sleep pretty well tonight.