Riding My Asterisk Off

…one mile at a time…

Between the rain, then the heat, injury, and insomnia, my number of rides lately has been pretty low. I don’t mind the idea of riding in the rain, but when it’s torrential and the wind is blowing shit sideways? No, that’s not my thing. Then I threw my back out, which gifted me a couple weeks of doing not much of anything. And insomnia?

That bitch hates me and shows up in my life way too often.

When I did get back to it, I started off with the electric bike, just wanting to see how my legs felt. And they were fine, no issues, my endurance was fine, my heart rate was fine. It was all too fine, so I checked the tire pressure on the other bike and headed out for a Happy Ten Miles.

Marin Larkspur CS2

The miles were happy enough, but a mile in my fingers were going numb. By three miles, my shoulders hurt. By the end of the ride my neck had joined in and my back wasn’t thrilled, either.

I assumed that it was simply because I’d taken a few weeks off, and needed to get back to where I was.

But dozens of miles and several rides later, everything still hurt. I reluctantly came to the conclusion that I don’t, and probably never will have, the core strength to ride in a forward position, which is where the flat bars were placing me. I honestly think it might be easier to ride with drop bars, something I might visit in the future.

For now, though, I needed to do something to make this bike work. I really like it; it’s super light compared to my electric, nimble, and doesn’t hurt my knees very often. The only thing I don’t like is the color, but this time around I specifically went for the right bike and not the pretty one. Except it’s not quite right.

So, enter the Surly Open Bar with a 40 mm rise.

These bars, paired with the adjustable stem on my bike being all the way up, close the reach enough that I’m far more upright. I’ve only put ten miles on them, but in those ten miles the only issue I had was with my fingers going a little numb, but I’m not sure if that didn’t happen due to a death grip on the bar.

My shoulders, neck, and back were fine. Better gloves might help with the fingers. We’ll see.

Tomorrow looks to be a great day to roll around town, if I can get out early enough.

And damn, I hope this works. I really don’t want to buy another bike.

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