Thursday, July 7, 2005

When I decided to start riding my bike in earnest, it occured to me that I was A) Going to be riding on the public roads and B) Less immortal than I was twenty years ago. So, I went and got myself a helmet. A Schwinn helmet from Target. There were some other neat gizmos for the bike there which I wanted but did not pick up at the time for a lack of fundage.

I went and picked 'em up on Tuesday and got to use them this morning. I got a computer and a mirror. Here's the review, such as it is.

The computer, something —but not exactly— like the one pictured at right, is both a blessing and a curse. It's pretty cool to see exactly how far and how fast I'm going. (6.188 miles in 29:24, avg speed: 12.5 MPH, max speed: 33.6 MPH (I was very nearly speeding, if only for a few seconds!)) However, it's a harsh taskmaster. Every time I see the average speed speed slip below 12, I feel like I've got to work harder, even if I'm going uphill. It was installed and calibrated easily enough, so I could recommend it, if only I could find it on the internets. I can't. I tried.

The mirror is a strap-on-to-your handlebar thingamabob. Now, I need a mirror, 'cause every time I look over my left shoulder to see if there are cars coming, I inevitably drift left into the path of the oncoming cars. But this one is a pain in the ass, for two reasons: One, it straps onto your handlebar grip, which wouldn't be so bad if it was comfortable to grip, but part of it is velcro and the other is hard plastic, which has an unfortunate sharp bit protruding. I see sandpaper in its future. Two, it straps onto your handlebar grip, so if you're gripping hard, to climb a hill, for instance, it twists with your grip and ends up pointing at the sky or the road. You can very easily twist it back into place, but still a pain in the ass. But, I suppose you get what you pay for, and I only spent $5 or $6 on it.

So there you have it. At least the expensive ($25) one works well, even if I'm going to drive myself crazy with it. On a more positive note, the two days I took off this week (Tuesday: weather, Wednesday: up late working Tuesday) have pretty much restored my legs and I was able to ride pretty hard today without pain. Woot.

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