I recently rode my first century ride, Ride around the Buttes
in Yuba City. It was mostly flat which was a good thing. Had a little muscle
damage in my right leg but managed to finish in 6 hours. Plan to do another
in late spring when I'm in better shape.
A friend convinced me that a road bike would improve my climbing when mountain
biking. He was right. It has been quite a learning experience going from mountain
biking to road biking. To me road biking is infinitely more dangerous than
mountain biking. It is much more convenient though.
There are two 30 mile loops and two 50 mile loops that start and finish
at my house. All require less than 2 miles (out and back) of riding through
town. The 30's are about half flat - half hills. I'm not sure how much climbing
is involved but there is definitely climbing involved. The 50's have the same
amount of flats as the 30's but the rest is climbing, lots of climbing.
For me climbing on a road bike is much easier than a mountain bike due
to the fact the mountain bike requires much more energy for balance. Riding
uphill through rocks and roots is taxing on the whole body. Riding up a flat
paved hill is taxing on the legs and lungs.
When mountain biking you don't have to worry about crazy drivers other
than the ones you have to deal with while driving to and from the ride. I
don't know if I'll ever get comfortable with the way some drivers treat bikers.
Some seem to try to get as close as possible when passing. Others are just
plain rude, honking and yelling as they pass. Luckily they are few and far
between. I'm happy to say that most are very polite and understand that they
are driving a lethal weapon.
For the price the
Trek 5200 is hard to beat. So far I haven't had any real
problems with it that weren't my own doing like not lubing the chain enough.
The saddle is a Selle Italia Era and so far I'm tolerating it. Some days I
don't notice it and on others it sucks. Anybody want to buy it? :-) The other
thing that bothers me is the heart monitor I bought on eBay. It doesn't work
if there are power lines nearby. On the other hand the Shimano Flight Deck
system is the best. It's great to be able to change modes without taking my
hands off the hoods.