Monday, August 4, 2008

The Launch of the SS Betty

It has been a long while between posts again. Work has been crazy busy so no time for blogging. On the 22nd of July my lovely husband and I did a skills course with, which is run by Helena Parsons. I’ve done the beginner course previously and this course built on that really well. We learnt how to lift our back and front wheels, how to corner fast and sharp, how to get up over obstacles, how to ride fast scary dips and how to climb properly. It was really great and exhausting. I still can’t bunny hop to save my life, but I know what I have to do to get there so it’s just a matter of practise.
During the work madness I’ve been bitten by the singlespeed bug and decided to convert the Rincon into a singlespeed for the Sandpit and McLeans Island. It took some pretty full on engineering as the components on the Rincon are pretty low spec meaning the chainrings were riveted to the cranks.
That makes it slightly more difficult to have only 1 chain ring up front. Fortunately Pete’s fantastic powers of engineering came to the rescue in an exciting display of sparks and soon I had the 32 tooth chainring all on its lonesome for my new baby. After this pulling apart the rear cassette was a piece of cake and soon I had a lovely 17 tooth cog for the back. After stripping off all the braking and gear shifting components that came with the bike and replacing them with some Hayes Sole brakes that I had lying round she was good to go. Unfortunately work had other ideas as I had to work on Saturday the 26th and on Sunday we had a family gathering to attend for Pete’s grandparents (the weather was rubbish anyway). After working a stupidly long 52.5 hour week by Thursday evening I didn’t go into work at all on Friday and just lay round. Saturday dawned clear and lovely and after a quick text we were off to meet up with scatter, a lovely vorbette, at the sandpit. I’ve heard that singlespeeding is fun, and is it ever! I had a great time, although I’ve decided its time to see the doctor about my lungs as they were in absolute agony most of the ride and I felt like I wasn’t getting enough air. This made me feel quite sick and headachey. But it was still uber fun. The great thing about singlespeeding is you have to go fast, so it really improves your strength and handling skills. I can’t wait to get out and do more, once my lungs are sorted.
We cut the ride a bit short and then had a wee play on the skinnies. The SS Betty needs a few tweeks before I’m really comfortable riding on the skinnies on it. The handle bars are too upright and too wide for me so I’ll have to do a bit of fiddling to sort that out. Even so, it was a fun wee play, especially racing through the big puddles, wahoo simple bikes!
We were muddy and grinning when we left and I discovered on getting home another reason to love singlespeeding – it only took 10 mins to get my bike shiny and clean.

Sunday I decided that I had to get out for a decent length ride on the roadie. The weather was pretty horrid with cold temperatures, a chilly breeze and misty, spitting rain on and off. I really didn’t think I was going to enjoy it and was nervous about spending 2 hours on my hard roadie saddle, but I was pleasantly surprised. The ride was really enjoyable (well the first hour and a half before I starting feeling the cold). The last half hour was hard, sore and I just wanted to get home. My legs and arms were shattered, and my feet were frozen, just over 44kms in just under 2 hours, not bad for a first attempt at a long ride. After a hot shower and a big feed of pasta I was feeling more human, but still had a Nana nap for about half an hour in the arvo. The great news is my seat is absolutely brilliant. By the end it was the only thing that wasn’t hurting me, yay! With the Molesworth now only 3 months away there will be plenty more of these and longer rides in my future. I need to sit down this week and sort out a training plan.

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