The Modern Cyclist

Riding home on the new bike.

I HAVE JOINED THE RANKS OF THE CLICKED-IN. I stopped in at my LBS today to find out if my new bike had arrived. Indeed it had! Quick trip home to change into biking gear, then back for adjustments and kitting out the bike properly.

Here is how a modern, “with it” cyclist gets set to ride a new bike:

  • Choose the shoes. Try the basic models first, which seem fine, but then try a pair with carbon-fiber soles and ratchet fasteners instead of Velcro. Accept advice of salesperson, who says these will be stiffer and more snug, which translates to more power, and they’re 20% off today. Put them on and hobble over to bike stand.
  • Get onto bike for adjusting handlebar and saddle height. Discover that sitting on the standard saddle is akin to a perpetual wedgie. Swap in a nicer saddle which salesperson has ready. (To be fair, the reviews warned me about the stock saddle on this bike.)
  • Practice “clicking in” with new shoes on odd-looking pedals. (For the uninitiated, this locks your feet to the pedals to give you power on the upstroke as well as the downstroke.) Also practice unclicking, so you can come to a stop without appearing on America’s Funniest Home Videos.
  • Purchase a headlight and taillight, two bottle racks, 10-function bike computer, and rack for panniers (a fancy term for “bike bags”). Look at prices for panniers and decide to buy them online.
  • Spray credit card with liquid nitrogen, put on helmet and gloves, and head out onto the road.

More to follow…

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