I got back from Maui a week ago (and had an AWESOME time, thanks for asking, but what other kind of time can you have in Paradise, lol?). Because I got a bad cold from a fellow traveler on the way back, I ended up not being able to go get my bike until late yesterday afternoon.
I just came back from my first real ride on her. I so wanted it to be a great ride, and I wanted desperately to be able to get on her and brag on here about how wonderful it was.... but unfortunately, it wasn't! I came home and cried because it was not even close to the ride I had hoped for. Part of it was that it was cold out, and though I dressed as well as I could, I don't yet have proper riding clothes for damp cold weather -- especially when you're used to Maui weather. (You can read my rant on women's biking clothes in the rant section if you'd like, lol.) But the seat hurt my woman parts, my wrists hurt almost the entire time (and had NEVER hurt on my cruiser), and the bike was so light-weight that the ride felt jittery, and I had a hard time keeping her going straight and where I wanted her to go.
I'm also learning how to mount a bike for the first time, since I can't just sit on her and start pedaling like I did on the cruiser. So every time I stopped and got off to lower the front of the seat to try to make it stop hurting, and then to raise the seat itself so my leg could extend further, and then to try to pull a scarf over my ears and zip my jacket higher, and then stop at the stop signs, I had to try the 'proper' method of getting started. It looks easy enough; you put the pedal in the 10:00 position, step up on it and get going, and then sit on the seat, right? (At least that's what everybody keeps showing me.) Well, I seem to have an anatomical problem with that, which is that I have a J-Lo butt -- and then some. And when I step up on the pedal, the back of my butt hits the front of the seat, and it knocks me off balance. So I'm struggling with the basic beginning of a bike ride, which doesn't do much for my confidence, and embarrasses me immeasurably when drivers passing by are watching. Sigh... I'll work on it.
The seat hurting was a bit of a surprise, though even my cruiser seat never quit hurting no matter how used to it I was. I will keep adjusting it and give it a while to get used to it, and if it keeps hurting I'll try another one. I think this seat is considered a 'unisex' model; it looks very much like my husband's saddle!
But my WRISTS hurting -- that was a shock, since they never hurt on the cruiser at all. They didn't hurt when I rode the test bikes, either, but then I only rode them around the parking lot a couple of times. They started hurting pretty early on in this ride, and nothing I did seemed to help other than sitting more upright and barely holding on to them, which of course didn't feel very safe. I had listed an adjustable stem as one of the things I wanted on a bike, but this bike doesn't have one, so I doubt that the bars can be raised much at all. I think that's what needs to happen, so that I'm not leaning so far forward on them. So I'm pretty concerned about that, because I'm not sure what can be done.
The jitteriness of the ride is no doubt just due to my being a new rider. I've never had tires this thin or a bike this lightweight before, so it's a very different ride than my cruiser, and it's something I just have to get used to. But I kept wondering where that "It feels like I'm flying!" feeling was that I remember thinking on the test ride in the parking lot.
So... I came home and cried, all disappointed and worried that I've bought the wrong bike even after all my research, and then had a hot cup of chai tea and listened to some soothing music, and am trying to give myself a pep talk about how all this will be easily fixed and I'll love her soon as much as I did my cruiser.
But right now, I'm pretty disappointed.
Thanks for listening.