I took this photo of my Trek the other day about a week ago (you’ll need to put your “picky” glasses on for this one):
If you look at the handlebar, it’s raised at the stem just a hair, tilted up ever so slightly. I’ve lived with it that way because I just didn’t think I could ride the bike comfortably if I dropped it that little bit. No kidding, it’s that tight.Sunday morning I looked at that handlebar again, sitting almost exactly like that, and I was weak. I caved. I had to try. Had to. I tilted the bar forward about 2°… like going from 9:00 to 9:01:37, really. I had to do it. It was like a freakin’ splinter in my brain, every time I looked at the bike, sitting all nice and pretty in the corner…
Oh, now that’s right, baby.
After my Sunday afternoon ride, I was pretty sure I was going to have to put it back where I’d started. That was a tough day in the saddle, though, I told myself in a fairly convincing manner… what with that gnarly headwind at the end of the ride. I thought maybe I should give it another go because… dude, it finally looked right. I wouldn’t have to look at my glorious 5200 sitting there, all almost awesome in the corner… Sure enough, Monday proved much better. It was really good, actually, though part of this is my having lost a few pounds (six, actually, since we started riding outside [!!! That’s right, baby!]). Ahem. The rest was because the temp was up a little bit (lighter clothing).
Anyway, now I’m clearly stoked. At this point, I think I can learn to like it.
Then, Tuesday’s evening ride. It started out cold and gloomy, but amazingly, about eight miles into our ride the clouds broke and my Vitamin D meter started registering some adequate intake! Well, maybe not all that much. I only had about 18 square inches of exposed skin because it was only 46° (feels like 40° or 4.4 C). Chuck and I weren’t pedaling all that hard, either. We were just out trying to enjoy some fresh air. We went, in the space of just ten miles, from wanting to simply get our miles in and get out of the cold to looking for ways to extend the ride. I had to laugh, too… we started out slow and easy while we had the tailwind but actually increased our average speed from 16-mph to more than 17 with the headwind all the way home.
In the end, I had just shy of 33 miles and a smile stretched across my face. It was spectacular. On a weekday! We’re going long today. Sunny and 58° with a gentle breeze is the forecast (YES!).
The verdict is, the handlebar stays where it is.