It was just five hours of pedaling. There were no bizarre roadside encounters today. There was no hammock hanging or coffee brewing. No S24O this time. Conditions were unusually pleasant with light wind and an overcast sky to keep the heat in check. It was a good day to tick off some miles. It was, I guess, a sort of shakedown ride for a few recent enhancements. Just in time for summer.
Newer honey saddle in place of the older, darkened green saddle. The old saddle was showing signs of age and it seemed a change in color might be fun.
Albatross bars in place of the drops. After further research (riding the Quickbeam with albatross bars consistently for a few weeks), and contrary to original thought, albatross bars are not the cause of my upper back/neck issues. Apparently, the pain that nudged me back to drops last time was a timing coincidence.
Ergon grips instead of the traditional cork. Using standard round grips without care, I can let the bar ends of an albatross bar work into that nerve groove in the middle of the wrist. That can cause some nagging discomfort. So having a wider support at the bar end seemed like a smart thing to try. These are the GC1 Biokork Ergon grips and they are designed for swept-back bars. Admittedly, they don’t have a traditional look (which I like) of the standard round cork grips, but they absolutely work. These grips are plush.
There was also a hat upgrade. Riding for hours in the Texas sun with little-to-no shade can really raise my body temperature. I’ve been wearing a Tilley hat recently, which is a great hat, but perhaps not ideal for the hottest direct sun conditions. After pondering a little, it seemed finding a hat with a lighter color, more ventilation, and a wider brim would be more comfortable on the hottest days. That combination sounded like the familiar head wear of my ranching neighbors. All I needed to do was add a stampede string to keep the thing from blowing off my head. It still needs to be tested on a hotter day, but I can already tell it is an improvement.
Well summer is now here, and I guess I’m as ready as I as can be.