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After nearly a year indoors and most of that time spent on the smart trainer, then vaccination and ultimately venturing back outdoors; where to go first? To answer that question, I reviewed my usual routes. I wanted something long enough, but not too much climbing. I’m not all that sure how my indoor work will translate to real world riding. One thing I know for certain, indoors I pedal on descents and outdoors I don’t. Indoors there isn’t any wind. Outdoors there is always wind, except it seems when I’m climbing in the heat. So, where to for this first real world ride? I decided to do my old usual ride out to what I call Ortega park and back. Form the data it shows around 300 meters of climbing over 45 kilometers. There are no real steep or long exposed climbs. Mostly back streets with bike lanes and the usual M.U.T. along the Coast Highway and through the park near Ortega.

First Ride – Ortega Park and Back Loop

What I call Ortega park is really Sendero Field. This ride will give me a chance to check out the park facilities for water stop and restroom break for longer rides in the future.

I started off the morning with a flat tire thanks to the old tube I put in. I replace that, then as I was about to set off, noticed I’d left my water bottles in the fridge. Back upstairs and down again. Make sure everything connected to the head unit. Re-establish the power meters and calibrate them, then ride. My rides all start off heading down our street so it’s mostly coasting. It felt weird to me to have the bike moving under me. I move my hand or head and the bike moves. I felt very twitchy. Starting off from that first stop sign, the bike felt like it was lurching forward from under me. Getting my balance and position back when standing on the pedals will take a few more rides.

I’ve ridden the exact same route only five times including today. I felt slow, but not weak, just taking it easy to enjoy the first ride and not hurt myself.

The data show today’s effort was my best ever. I guess that indoor training is paying off. I do not feel particularly strong on hills, and my position and rocking the bike one the pedals is off a little even after a long ride. There is only a little bit of climbing on this route. It was also a fairly warm day, but I chose to wear my Castelli leg and arm warmers. I was a bit overdressed, but opening the zipper on my Voler jersey helped that.

I had to stop on the way out and fiddle with the front mech, for some reason it suddenly got a lot of slack and the cable couldn’t be seen to have changed, I’ll get the bike up on the work stand and take a look later this evening.

I took a selfie at the Park. The restrooms and water were on. Clean as usual and functioning.

Then on the return leg, I turned too early for the curb cut on to the trail in San Juan Capistrano and pinched the rear tire. The new tube I had just installed this morning got a snakebite from the square curb and my trying 85 psi out and oversteering into the sharp part of the curb. Then I had a cylinder that I could not puncture with my Shiny Thing inflator. I dug into the bottom go my seat bag and found another cylinder I was able to use.

24°C day with a light breeze most of the time was perfect riding for me even with the warmers on. I only used about a bottle and a half of water. And didn’t eat anything. I normally don’t eat on shorter rides like this when I don’t feel like I’ll be working real hard. I did carry stuff just in case I needed it.

All in all a successful ride for a first ride on real roads. The coast highway multi-use trail was not as crowded as it is on weekends, making it easy to stay away from people.

I think I need to roll my bars up ever so slightly. From the feel and this image in particular, the brake hoods feel rotated down a bit.

My next installment in this diary will be a summary of my first week riding outside.

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