I am definitely on the fence about whether today was a turning point with the Silvio or just me being blindly stupid, as is fairly common with me. Yesterday, I went out for a loop ride with Eileen, about 9 miles, and was not feeling optimistic about the Silvio from issues that I had the previous day...see previous post re: Cateye Adventure computer. On Saturday, 5/19/12, after my episode with the Cateye Adventure computer and while riding the Silvio, I felt very uncomfortable and unstable on the bike. To me, the Silvio has had its good moments...no butt, shoulder, neck, arm, or hand issues...and its bad moments...wobbly front end, the sense of temporary control coming downhill with an awareness that, at any moment, I could be flying off the roadway into the unknown and causing me a LOT of pain. I've had physical pain in my life before from a motorcycle crash and I don't want any more. Those negatives are very scary to me and have had me facing some realities about the Silvio....primarily, is it for me? Or, rather, am I for it?
So, Sunday, 5/20/12, I head out with Eileen to do the loop ride. One of the things that I had been trying to do is not use the granny gear...yes, ego. You'd think I'd have given up on that stuff by now, but, when it comes to bicycling, I am as eager as the next idiot to show how much ego I have. On this ride with Eileen, I decided to use the granny gear. What do you know...the bike felt better, particularly on those hills. Yes, I was going slow, but I'd be going slow on my diamond frame bike, too. A little insight. Rather than just do the 6 mile loop, I asked Eileen if she'd be up for a few more miles out Rt. 180 and she was game. Off we headed. Before we got to that point, we were on Rt. 90 and I was able to get into the big chain ring and the smallest cog and went fast and STABLE....a first. My mood improved. We added 3 miles, approximately, to our ride and I felt in control. Coming downhill, I was still nervous, which I believe adds to what I perceive as some instability in the front end. We'll see as time goes by...
Back to today, I headed out through town to Rt. 15, which heads up the mountain to Pinos Altos, NM, and beyond to the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the Mimbres Valley and the Inner Loop ride (78 mile ride). My thoughts: just keep the bike steady/stable and use the granny gear. Stopped once at the 5 mile point of the ride to drink some water, then continued on up into the mountains. At the 7+ mile point, I stopped to catch my breath, get my heart rate back to normal, and drink the remainder of my water...and stare at the rest of the hill up to Pinos Altos...at least, what I could see of it. The road has a couple of turns in it so it's not possible to see completely up to the top. Important body functions returned to relatively normal, except my brain ... it was yelling at me to "Don't do it!...you're gonna die!!". I was starting to believe myself but took off up the hill despite my best yelling at myself in my brain. First stretch, only a few tenths of a mile is the steepest part, not the only steep part, but the steepest...of course, it has to be that way, doesn't it? Made it past that, it was less steep...here "less steep" is relative, trust me...my heart was pounding, I was breathing hard, but I was going UP hill. Near the top, I was really working hard at the last turn which meant the top was right THERE! What do you know? I was at the top, my heart was pounding, my breathing was hard, and I could not have answered a question just then, but I was not DEAD. I may pick out a grave site at the top of this hill, just in case. But today, I was not dead. Now, the descent. Before that, I called Eileen to brag...yup, ego again!! There was a sense of happiness, too, since now I had climbed a hard climb and thought that maybe, just maybe, I could become one with this Silvio. But, as I said, now the descent.
Rode a bit farther down the road, turned, and headed back to the point where the descent starts...and headed downhill. Coming down, I was more in control, but there is still that ever present awareness that one slip and away I go. On a diamond frames, I have been as fast as 57mph downhill. With this bike, I am not even ready for that kind of speed. Maybe never on this bike. There were no serious wobbles on the way down. Frankly, nothing that I was not able to keep under control. With each ride, I learn a bit more about how to hang on to the handlebars and where/how to position my legs. Made it back to Silver City and felt strong on the bike, but also felt tired from the exertion of the climb. I'll think twice about doing legs and running at the gym today.
Back in Silver City, I was able to keep the bike more stable than previous rides, which I like. With more days like this, I can see me touring on the Silvio. Now, that is a long way off, IMHO, because right now, I know that is not possible, realistically, and I need to be much stronger...even if I was using a diamond frame bike and not a recumbent. But this is close to a turning point for me. Consistency is key. Back on the bike tomorrow. Where to?
A tune to wrap things up with...Someday Soon by Suzy Bogguss Tried to download the video from YouTube, but no luck. It's another good tune with lots of memories for me...hope you enjoy it.
Cycling Along The Way...
- Patrick Lyford
- Silver City, NM, United States
- Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?