“It’s like Dublin Bus around here…”

And by that, I mean you wait for one post, and then two come along at once.

But under the circumstances, I feel the second, shorter post is justified. I’ve finally taken possession of my new bike, and this afternoon I swapped out the pedals from the Mercian and took her out for her inaugural spin.

Now, I am no bike mechanic. And swapping out pedals is one of the simpler tasks you need to perform on occasion if you ride bikes a lot. All you need to remember is that one of the pedals is a left-hand thread, or, for the not-technically-minded, you turn it clockwise to loosen it. The trick is remembering which one is which.

I admit I needed to look it up to remind myself; left-hand side, left-hand thread… that’s it. Or, push the wrench/spanner towards the back of the bike, which works for both sides. Either way, it’s good to remember the other thing about changing pedals and that’s…

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…yeah. Oops. That’s to remember that your hand may slip and give the old front chainring a gentle poke. Bike: 1, Human: 0.

Anyway, I swapped out the Shimano clippies on the Mercian for the old strappy version that I used to use. They did the job fine, and it will be fun to see if I use it one day and try and to swing my feet out when I’m coming to a stop, thinking I’m still using clippies. And by fun I mean of course small disaster, as this usually means a quick trip to the ground, attached to your bike.

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The Mercian on the stand, getting her old pedals back.

All you can hope is that no-one is around when it happens. For shame…

And where else to go for the maiden voyage but coach TC? TC is not my coach of course, though he is a veteran track champion, and does coach lots of serious cyclists. So he knows a thing or three about bikes and how to ride them.

He does seem genuinely impressed with the Orbea, and is keen to drag me out on the road. He goes out three times a week, at least, and regularly clocks up 90kms or more at a time. And as he reminded me today, I am going to need those miles under my belt before I tackle the Ring of Kerry.

IMG_0410.JPGThe Orbea is certainly a lovely bike. It’s great to have the gears on the bars after the down-tube shifters of the Mercian. And with an aluminium frame, she’s light on the road and responsive too. No doubt I will settle into the best set-up after a while. A few tweaks here and there; TC already suggested dropping the bars forward a small bit (done), and removing some of the spacers to get the bars lower for a more aerodynamic position. In fairness, the Orbea Avant is designed and sold as a sportive (touring) bike, so it’s not set up to be nippy. ‘Relaxed geometry’ is how they describe the frame. Might tweak the saddle too, but all these things will work themselves out as we clock up the miles.

And there will be miles. Oh yes.

Now. There’s a bus coming. Must dash…

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