Betty and I spent quality time together on the commute this week. The past three days Greg and I have been riding to and from work together. This gets me up and out the door earlier than I’m used to – 6:00 a.m. – but I’m going to try to stick with it. The streets are so peaceful at that hour and for the most part we can ride two abreast. Plus, we get to be there for the magical time when the sun rises, so that it’s almost dark when we leave and completely light when we arrive at our destinations.
I’m loving Betty. I’m not ready to give a full ride review because we’re still getting to know each other, but I can say a few things for sure.
She taunts the headwinds (and then says, “now leave or I will taunt you a second time”). She’s nimble among the thousands of Chicago potholes. She’s gorgeous. She does not sail nearly as smoothly as Oma, but then nothing does. She is much lighter and faster than Oma, although I still cycle with a laid back Oma style for the most part. When I want to lay into it, Betty responds and it’s fun going fast again. The leg muscles that I work pedaling her are different from Oma, so I’m getting used to that, but I use much less energy to go much faster than Oma. (I still think a Dutch bike is the best choice for riding around Chicago’s city streets.)
The only issue is hand and wrist discomfort from the handlebar position. The first ride, my wrists and palms hurt a lot as soon as I started. I had the stem raised as high as it could go, which helped, but there was still a lot of discomfort. Then I had the handlebars titled down, which completely resolved the pain – until a mile or two into my ride. So yesterday I had the handlebars titled down a bit more and now the discomfort is dull background noise, but it’s still there. I’ll have to go back to Roscoe Village Bikes for some more experimentation tomorrow. Hopefully I won’t need any new parts.
Many more details to come once I spend more time in the saddle (which will be broken in soon, god willing).