|Greg Valenzuela at REI in Santa Monica|
One thing Greg suggested was that I start doing lots of hill training and camping. Well, today I rode into Beverly Hills and did about 2-3 hrs of climbing hills and going round and round up the same hills. Put about 20 miles on the bike just doing that. Was in a section of Beverly Hills called Beverlywood which is just south of Beverly Hills. Conquered some hills I had been thinking of doing for a long time but didn't have the confidence for. Some of the hills I didn't conquer completely and had to stop on the way up to catch my breath and let my muscles stop screaming at me, but then I was able to continue the rest of the way without stopping. Greg said he just relaxes when going up hills, and I just kept thinking, "Relax, relax" and maybe that actually helped some because although I had to stop on occasion, I wasn't fighting my gears or the bike. I just rode without too much struggle.
|New handlebars and Surly front fork|
I think that the new Surly front fork is making a difference in the smoothness of my ride as opposed to the previous shock absorber. The new handlebars still need to be cushioned and taped, but otherwise they were fine. I mounted a new bell on the bike since the old one, which was thumb activated, could no longer be in a good position for that, but the new bell needs to be repositioned as well.
The really wonderful thing is that I. Martin Cycles installed the front fork and the handlebars for free. Greg said I should consider that a kind of sponsorship since whenever a company gives you free stuff or services, it's sponsorship. Well, I just adore the folks at I. Martin, and I now need to really pour the love on them because of their generosity to me.
Tonight my mother called me about a planned family reunion in June for her and my Dad's 60th anniversary. I finally mentioned that I was leaving California in Feb. 2015, and I was expecting a ton of naysaying but I didn't get it. She knows I've been planning it and talking about it for a while. So that secret is out, and now I just have two important people left to tell - my boss and my landlady. It's too early to tell either of them, but I do expect to tell them sometime in the late summer.
By the way, for all you touring cyclists, I do recommend getting a $7.99 per month Netflix subscription. Put the app on your phone or tablet device. You will not run out of things to keep you entertained on the road when you are in your tent or at a hostel or a Warm Showers.