Tuesday 22nd May, 2012

My legs have recovered sufficiently for me to take Bob out again.  I do still feel a little trepidation when setting out, but nothing like I did when I went to collect him from London Recumbents, or indeed on Saturday.

I’ve decided to focus my cycling efforts on getting used to Bob, so it was the tube to work today with the intention of getting out with Bob tonight.

After a quick up and down on our street (not to mention stopping to show him off to one of our neighbours who was suitably impressed) I went up to the High Road – this time taking the slope much more easily.  Given that it was only a couple of days since last struggling up it I feel pretty pleased, although still a bit out of breath.  I suspect it’s a combination of a bit more experience + my legs beginning to get a bit more used to the position.

I decided to stick to the safe route – along the High Road, down Grasvenor Avenue and across Brook Farm Open Space – on what turned out to be a really pleasant evening.  Bob’s seat is much firmer after I adjusted it on Sunday, although there was still a bit of give over the ride, so I’ve tightened it a bit more.  I do get a sense that I’ve pretty much identified what’s the best length for me on Bob, something which is easy to monitor with the guage that Velotechnik have thoughtfully put on the slidey bit that the seat rests on.

With the gears I’m getting much more used to shifting, not just one gear at a time, but often 2 or 3 depending on the change of incline.  I’m so used to Deraillieurs where the gear shifting is sequential that it’s taking a change in mindset to realise that I can just twist the handle to get the gear I want.  It’s also a case of becoming sufficiently familiar with the Rohloff to know which gear is best, but again, this evening I felt as though I was beginning to get a better idea of what that might be and how far I’d need to twist the gear shifter.  Before I get too frustrated I do need to remind myself that by the end of this evening I’ve only done just over 32 miles on Bob – and therefore only 32 miles with a Rohloff hub.  After thousands I’ve done on my other bikes, it’s not very much or very long to get used to the new set-up.

It being the first warm evening we’ve had for ages, it was also the first time that I really saw people just sitting relaxing outside or walking for pleasure minus jackets (and scarves!) – and a number certainly noticed Bob.  “That’s a nice bike mate” I got from one of the group of teenagers sitting on the steps of the changing rooms.

After about 25 mins my legs were beginning to feel a little strained so I decided to make my way home. 4.10 miles over 31 mins, including a bit of stopping and talking.  I hope to be able to get out on Bob again on Thursday, possibly Friday and then aim for a longer ride at the weekend.  Will I be ready to take the hill to High Barnet by then…..?

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