For the last two weeks I have had one illness or another. First it was a sore throat that became a sinus issue, with the usual malaise that implies, then it was (eeew) pink-eye. I rode a bicycle twice in the whole two weeks, an eight-mile round trip to buy yarn and a short jaunt to an art thing.
In the last few days I have started feeling restless. I was staying home as much as possible because my eye was gross-looking (blood-shot and swollen), and because pink-eye is so contagious, but I mostly felt fine.
Out of boredom I’ve been looking at bicycles online, reading about frame geometry, and re-reading old posts on Lovely Bicycle. I think I’ve mostly succeeded in further confusing myself. There are just so many factors to deal with in terms of how a bicycle fits and how it handles vs. what kind of riding you want to do. People who’ve been thinking about these things for decades have completely different opinions, and speak them as though they were facts. And I’ve ridden only a handful of bicycles, none of them high-end, and so I’m not even sure I’d notice the difference between one bike and another. Would I be able to feel how flexible one frame is compared to another? What does “responsive” even really mean?
I might end up trying to measure the trail of my Raleigh and my Novara. I do wonder if it explains some of the difference in their handling, especially on turns. Then again, maybe it’s just the difference in my posture and/or the handlebar setup. Or something else entirely. See what I mean? This stuff is bewildering.
Don’t even get me started on the differences between randonneuring and touring bicycles. Or all the variations in drop bars.
On the positive side, I think it’s possible I’ve found my dream touring bicycle: the Terry Valkyrie. I know there’s some debate about whether women need women-specific bicycles, but I know I personally fit the stereotype they’re going for–longer legs, shorter arms and torso, an unwillingness to feel “stretched out,” etc. The Terry Valkyrie has a lovely short top tube! That is so exciting to me! It’s the shortest I’ve seen on an off-the-rack bicycle, even if this bike isn’t really “off-the-rack.” If you know of an off-the-rack women-specific touring bicycle–especially one less than the Terry’s $3,500–please let me know!
Tomorrow, though….tomorrow I get to actually get on my bicycle and go somewhere! There’s an overnight trip with Cycle Wildto cabins at Battleground Lake. It’s an easy 23 miles that I’ve done several times before. I cannot wait to be on the road with friends, especially knowing there’s a cabin at the end, in lovely surroundings. I almost wish the ride out was longer, but after two weeks of almost no biking, I should probably go easy on myself.