This week I just finished my first 1000 miles in the saddle. I have posted here in the past about my learning experience with my first bike and the growing pains (literally) of riding and learning.
Well, this week I passed 1000 miles on my 2011 Diamondback Podium 3. I have had the bike since last August. I don't ride everyday. I still run a fair amount as well.
Here are a few of my observations over the past several months:
1. Riding is a lot of fun. Especially with a group of people. I enjoy the social aspect as well as the natural competition that happens while riding in a group. I like the speed of riding as well.
2. It takes time getting totally comfortable on the bike. It was suggested to me through this forum to just go out and ride. Don't make tweeks to the bike all the time because I was uncomfortable one day on one ride. I had the bike fit to me initially and then made a few minor tweeks after riding several times on that set-up. I haven't changed anything on the bike in about 5-6 months.
3. I suffered from some soreness and numbness in my hands and feet at times. I kept riding and would shift my position (as suggested) throughout the ride changing hand positions etc. That helped a lot. I rarely get the numbness that I had at the beginning (first few months) but I still get some once in a while. I have learned how to naturally shift positions, get up out of the saddle at times and just move around the bike. That helps a lot. I am sure time in the saddle and strengthening new muscles has helped also.
4. I rode through the winter as well. Temps as low as 30-35 in the morning. That was brutal at first. I had plenty of warm gear on but it was still cold. I am glad I pushed through and still had fun with the guys in the morning.
5. I have had a couple of mechanical problems on rides but nothing to stop me completely. Each time someone I was riding with was able to help make a small adjustment if needed. It has helped me learn a little more about my bike as well. I have not had any flats while on the road but have come out to the garage in the morning with a flat. After having run something over the day prior and did't know it.
6. I have ridden some pretty good hills. I am not good at hills. I just put it in a gear and go. Make it to the top and do the best I can. I push harder at times trying to get stronger but I am still learning and trying to strengthen myself on the hills. Downhill is a blast.
7. I hate the wind. It seems that I am always riding in a head wind. Did I mention I hate the wind.
Here are some things I have learned about my bike vs some of the guys I ride with that have very expensive bikes:
1. I bought a very lightly used bike (about 50 miles on it from the previous owner). It is a decent bike with decent components. Not the lightest thing out there but not the heaviest either. 2011 Diamondback Podium 3.
2. For the type of riding I am doing which is mainly for exercise it is great. I am sure I will be able to ride it for a long time and plan to do so. Yes, my buddies have some really nice rides but I am riding with them and right next to them the entire time. Maybe they are working a little less hard but I can't tell and neither can they. They may look "cooler" than I do but who cares. I am very happy with my purchase for a good bike with good components to start. I plan on doing a few tris this year as well on this bike.
3. Just as many suggested to me, it really doesn't matter what I am on, I just get out and ride and have fun. I am not worried about saving a few ounces here and there. I can always drop 1-3 pounds on my body and get that bang instead of spending a lot of money on saving ounces.
I have a century coming up in about a month that I am riding with a few buddies. Looking forward to it.
Overall: Riding has been great and I look forward to many more years of riding.