What a Difference a Day Makes

Florida weather is amazing. Less than 24 hours after torrential downpours, flooding and high gusting winds, we have a completely sunny, calm, and dry day. It’s like Debbie never existed! Needless to say, we took advantage of the day for a nice 40 mile ride out to Coconut Point.

Michelle, Karen and Gus heading back out after a mid ride Panera break.

We had a bunch of riders lined up for the ride, but last minute cancellations whittled us down to three, Gus, Michelle and myself. We headed off in typical fashion down Tree Line, warming the legs up a bit before bringing the speeds up to 21-22 MPH. With little wind, keeping the pace up front was the polar opposite of yesterday’s flogging by Debbie. In fact Gus had to slow me down a couple of times as I was beginning to pull away from them…Gus is still nursing that sore foot while Michelle is fighting her bike…more on that later.

We adjusted our speed to a more comfortable 20 MPH and continued down the boulevard. Up ahead we saw a lone rider which we were quickly gaining on. As we closed on the rider, Gus broke into a sprint, pulled along her side and gave her a quick slap on the butt…it was our friend Karen from the Trek store in Estero.

She quickly joined our threesome as we continued towards Coconut Point for the usual and customary mid ride break at Panera Bread. While there we spoke about the upcoming tour…just two more days for La Grande Boucle to begin. It looks to be a two horse race with Evans (BMC) and Wiggins (Sky) being the odds on favorites, but don’t count out the mighty Radio Shack-Nissan-Trek team as big brother Frank Schleck is in form as well as the old man, Chris Horner. I’m actually pulling for the boys of the Argyle Armada, specifically Hesjedal, the winner of the Giro, to surprise everyone.

We then shifted to cycling reality and our own bikes, in particular Michelle’s woes (we are all cycling experts…in our own minds). You can tell just by watching her ride that she is not comfortable on her bike. It’s not the bike, mind you, as she is riding a very nice Trek Madone 5.2, it’s the set up or better said, lack of setup that is causing her struggles. Frankly you can own the best, most expensive and sought after bike in the world, but if you have not had a proper fitting, it will be shear torture riding it.

This is exactly what we saw in Michelle’s situation. A proper fitting is sorely needed  to turn her love hate relationship with her bike into symbiotic bliss. I’m still amazed at the surprisingly large number of riders out there that needlessly put up with an ill fitting bike thinking that that it’s just part of riding. Bite the bullet folks and get a professional fitting…your entire atitude to cycling will change, not to mention your knees, elbows, back and butt will greatly appreciate it.

With all our “professional input” donned on Michelle, we headed back to our starting point. When we arrived back at the Sweetbay Market lot, Gus and I went into bicycle mechanic mode, going hands on making a couple tweaks and adjustments to Michelle’s bike (we are dangerous with a set of Allen wrenches). She seemed happier on the bike with the minor changes, but we still insisted that she take it in for a professional fitting, after we jokingly said that we’d send her a bill for the field adjustments.

So, another fun ride in the books. Tomorrow we’ll repeat the same loop (hopefully with more riders) and then go for an extended ride to our favorite barrier islands over the weekend. Everyone’s invited, so if you’re nearby, please join us.

Route: Coconut-40
Ride Time: 2:14:05
Stopped Time: 2:11:22
Distance: 39.35 miles
Average: 17.61 mph
Fastest Speed: 24.58 mph
Ascent: 1148 feet
Descent: 1138 feet
Calories: 2034

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