Breaking in the New Guy

Even after nearly 30 miles Señor J is still smiling!

My neighbor, which we’ll call Señor J, had recently shown a lot of interest in road cycling and had been picking my brain often about the sport. A few posts back, he caught me while I was gearing up for a ride and inform me that he had dropped an order for a shiny new Trek 2.1 and wanted to join me on my rides. Needless to say, I enthusiastically welcomed his company.

His bike arrived earlier this week. He had a professional fitting and completely outfitted his bike for all his needs (I did have to remove his reflectors…nothing screams newbie more than reflectors on a road bike). His plan was to ride with me on the mornings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Although he had some spinning training under his belt, he requested that I break him in gently, so I lined up a 15 mile ride for this morning.

After a quick review of some cycling tips and a quick prep of his bike, we headed off towards Tree Line Boulevard for his first ever ride in traffic. He was a little nervous at first, but I just told him to sit on my wheel, relax and have fun. My plan was to ride a leisure 15 miles so that he could get a feel for the road and the bike. Breaking in a new bike, particularly the saddle can be painful experience, but after the first few miles he was feeling very comfortable.

We hit our pre-planned turn around point much quicker than I had originally planned. Señor J said he felt great and was willing to push on, so I switched the ride up to my GCTC-20. We scooted past the airport maintaining a very comfortable 16 MPH speed, with a head wind no less and found ourselves at GCTC well ahead of schedule.

I insisted he take a short shade break there….actually I think my words were “butt break” to asses how he was doing as well as make any quick modifications to his bike. He was feeling fine and the bike fit was pretty spot on. In fact he did not want to turn around yet, so just for fun, we extended the ride over the “I75 mountain” to Three Oaks Park.

Once there, we took another “ass-essment break”. He was holding up surprisingly well for a first timer and besides some occasional numbness in his hands, he was feeling great. I noticed that he was not drinking as much as he should have and gave him the cyclists mantra of “drink before you’re thirsty and eat before you’re hungry” especially in the Florida heat. After cooling off a bit in the shade, we mounted up and began heading back home. We did a very leisure ride down Alico Rd under I75 (I hate the traffic pattern there) and then did a fun sprint to the airport (for a spinner, he really does like big gears).

By the time we made it home, our short break-in ride had turned into a near 30 miler. He was in great spirits and, although his feet were overheated and showing some signs of fatigue (shoes take a while to break in too), he was anxious to get back on tomorrow morning….lets just hope he feels the same when he wakes up.

So welcome Señor J. Hopefully I didn’t beat you up too much on your first ride.

…and speaking of today’s ride, here are the numbers.

Route: Modified GCTC-20
Ride Time: 2:03:09
Stopped Time: 41:53
Distance: 29.21 miles
Average: 14.23 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 31.23 miles/h
Ascent: 163 feet
Descent: 66 feet
Calories: 1819

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