(Part 1 is here if you missed it)
Back packs / fanny packs are out
Of course it’s obvious, see the back rest? Obvious or not, I didn’t realize it until 15 minutes before departure on day 1. Solution? Strap it to the rack. Problem. Pack on rack covers my life-saving blinkie light. Solution? Re-pack into smaller canvas tote bag, roll-up tight, strap to rack below the blinkie light level. (I take a change of clothes and lunch and the latest Dirt Rag)
Gears – gimme some
There are two big climbs on my commute, one each direction. On my other bikes, I don’t have to resort to the granny gear, but on the Revive, I must. Here’s how the three bikes I’ve commuted on, stack up. These speeds are according to my estimated cadence of 70 uphill, and an indicated speed on a Cateye computer, all in the lowest gear.
- Woodstock 505 - 3.2 mph
- Cypress LX - 4.0 mph
- Revive - 7 mph
Obviously, the Revive is not geared very low. Hubub.com, has a neat spreadsheet available that interprets gearing and speed for you. When I plug in 20 inch wheels, 48 tooth chain ring, and 26 tooth rear cog, it calculates 7.7 mph at 70 rpm. Pretty dang close to my experience.
At 70 rpm, I start feeling the need to stand on the pedals, but I can’t. All I can do is push through it. Crush – crush – crush – and so on, for 3/4 of a mile. My thighs, just above the knee begin burning first, then it works it’s way up. Commuting on this Revive is giving my legs a real workout. It hurts, but it’s probably good for me.
Climbing hard, pushing back on the seat back, breathing like a sweat-hog, I felt and looked a bit squirrelly. I had to really concentrate to not “pull” the bars while working hard in a climb. With heavy traffic all around, there’s no margin for error. I actually was going in a straight line, easily staying in an imaginary 6 inch lane. The 20 inch wheels turn so quick though, it looks wobbly and doesn’t inspire confidence in the already puzzled, passing motorists.
On my ‘standard’ mounts, I average about 25 minutes each way, my record being 22m 37s for the trip in to work. On the Revive, I’m averaging about 29 minutes, and my record so far is 28m 50s, which I set this morning. On average, I’m running 5 minutes slower on the Revive, one way. It’s just harder to push the bigger gears. I’ve said it before, this bike is not a racer.
After 2 days, my sprained wrist has had absolutely NO extra strain put on it.
I only need to carry a shirt to work, no need for cycling pants on this bike.
I think I’m more visible to motorists. At least they seem to notice me more.
Final report this weekend.