It’s Happening!!

Less than 3 weeks before I begin cycling across America.  I’ve been training like crazy, practicing inclines with traffic on the Natchez Trace Parkway, and doing timed speed cycling on the Music City Bikeway.  It’s coming down to the wire.  I couldn’t be more excited!!

Almost all of my gear has come in and I had a fun time laying everything out and going through it over the weekend.  I ordered my Giro Clip-In Shoes and Pedals – they should be here early next week.  Apparently, they are a necessity on long tours so you can pull up on the pedal as well as push down.  I hear they take some getting used to, so I’m anxious for them to arrive.

This past Sunday, Stephannie met with me for a 4 hour, hands-on repair and maintenance class at Halcyon Bike Shop.  As I type this, I still cannot even believe how much I learned…  I now feel completely confident in changing my tires and tubes, removing damaged chain links and repairing my chain, replacing wheel spokes, adjusting my brakes, and doing alignments.  In FACT, when I got home, my Schwalbe Marathon Tires had come in and I swapped them out my myself in the garage!!!  😀

The Clement X’Plor Tires that came with my Kona were great tires.  The handling was amazing.  However, after talking to cyclists and researching, the deeper tread would have resulted in heavier resistance on the pavement.  Today, I tested out the new Schwalbe Tires, and wow.  Noticeably more smooth, and still, the handling felt spot on – even though it had just rained and the pavement was wet.  I improved my previous 20-mile time by 4 minutes!!!

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