I have two new entries for the Summer Games in the Let's Go Ride A Bike contest. I was away for the last few days at a conference for the Michigan Townships Association Legislative Conference in northern Michigan at a place called Crystal Mountain. It's a great place for skiers or golfers or people just looking for a very relaxing place to stay. My sisters accompanied me and it was nice to have company on the ride up and in the evenings after classes and sessions.
One of the objectives in the contest is to rent a bike while on vacation and another objective is to ride a different syle of bike than you normally ride. It was lucky for me to have this conference fall in the dates of the contest and luckier yet that the facility offered bike rentals. (the facility is very sports orientated with a fitness spa, ski runs, golf courses, kayak rentals, exercise classes, yoga, even outdoor mountain top yoga!). With a busy and packed schedule of educational events for the conference I found that a 6 a.m. morning ride was my only opportunity to get some riding in. It was a beautiful cool and somewhat foggy morning riding through this quaint and picturesque resort. I was very grateful that there were no vehicles on the road that morning as riding a new style bike (with VERY skinny tires) took some getting used to. Fortunately it didn't take all that long to get over the wobbles, a couple of spins around the parking lot and I was ready for the road. Road bikes are fast and agile! I chose a bike with flat bar handelbars opposed to the curled drop bar style of a true road bike but may test one of those bikes at another date. There were several miles of roadway throughout the grounds and I had a good chance to explore and test out a road bike on hills and rolling terrain. The gear shifting was different than my usual ride and it seemed easy enough to get used to. My bike puts me in a very upright position and this test ride bike had me in the more traditional road bike position of being more bent over the bike. It was comfortable enough, however different. I imagine that in rides longer than the hour I went out for there would be additional periods of adjustment. The skinnier hard seat was a bit of a challenge in the last quarter of the ride as my tush is used to more cush.
If not for the contest from LGRAB I probably would still wonder what riding a road bike was like, I can honestly say that I probably would have rented a bike like my own. This contest prompted me to try something new and I am very happy that I did. I totally get the allure of road bike riding after this test ride. Is a road bike in my future? Time will tell, for now I love my bike and the places that it takes me. My bike fits the kind of riding that I have been accustomed to and the terrain that I ride and is suited to the exploring nature of my rides.
The bike that I rented was a Rocky Mountain Metro 5 bike. It's classified as an Urban Road Hybrid. It had three chainrings up front and a more gearing in the rear cassette however much of that gearing was for faster riding opposed to the climbing gears that I have on my bike. I ride a bike with twist shifters and this bike had push levers located just below the grips right where my thumb would be, so they were easy and convenient. Also now I know why most bikes pictured in photos are leaned up against posts, no kickstand!
The conference was great and very informative and having my sisters along made it that much more of a joy. When I woke this morning without their chatter I was saddened and missed them very much.