Back Out on the Road

laurelhurst-park

It’s been exactly three months since I’ve thrown a leg over and navigated a beloved steel framed bicycle.  That’s how long it’s taken for me to recover from my unfortunate mishap involving a ladder and my fibula. But once I got my doctor’s go-ahead to begin cycling again, I was anxious to get back out on the road, although also strangely apprehensive.

2016-09-19-004

At Benham Falls

The last time I was on my bike was in Central Oregon’s fall glory, enjoying the dry climate and the very nice bike paths leading to Benham Falls.  I was riding my Terry, feeling slightly under the weather due to a dodgy restaurant experience earlier in the day.  But, once my riding buddy and I arrived at the Falls, all was well with the world.  The bike paths were strewn with slippery pine needles which kept getting caught in my “over the top” fenders, but this was less worrisome than the gravel portion of the journey over lava rock and loose gravel.  Fortunately, the Terry handled well, with its 32mm Pasela’s and great frame geometry.

1987 Panasonic MC 7500

1987 Panasonic MC 7500 converted to city errand bike

2016-12-21-005

McClure Pass Tires

2016-12-21-007

Velo Orange 126mm freewheel hub

So, for my first adventure back in the saddle I decided to ride my 1987 Panasonic MC 7500 commuter bike.  It is a very forgiving bicycle, although a bit tall due to its high bottom bracket. Before my leg injury I had installed some new tires on this bike to replace the heavy Specialized Armadillo tires, which had literally split at the seams, with something a little nicer – Compass McClure Pass 26 x 1.5 ” tires.

I had been riding these tires for a few months before my mishap and was looking forward to reporting on their ride quality, which I can now do. These tires have allowed me to ride in one higher gear overall, as compared to the Armadillo tires I previously used.  They feature a bit of a tread pattern which can help on non-paved surfaces, and are very responsive and comfortable.  I’m sold!  I also wanted to provide an update on the Velo Orange freewheel hub which I used to replace the failed Quando sealed bearing rear hub – a hub which failed after only about a thousand miles of use.  My new VO is working perfectly, and shaved some weight off the bike due to its drilled flanges.

2016-12-21-008

Cardiff leather saddle.

fullsizerender-2

Gardening with the Panasonic.

I use the Panasonic a lot for around town errands.  To make this bike a little more comfortable I added a Cardiff leather saddle, replacing the the old vintage Avocet touring saddle I was using.  I like the Cardiff saddle as a Brooks alternative – the saddle rails are a bit longer allowing for greater adjustment nuances, and there is something about its shape and geometry that seems to work well for me.  My first ride today went very well.  I didn’t experience any mysterious lapses in “bike memory”, nor did I have trouble climbing or descending.  Although it is winter, I’m looking forward to some enjoyable riding on the warmer and drier days which can sometimes appear unexpectedly. See you out there!

6 thoughts on “Back Out on the Road

  1. Hey, that’s great that you can ride again! Did you go out alone on this ride? It sounds like those Compasses gave you quite a reduction in rolling resistance. How many t.p.i. are they?
    The Cardiff saddle is a real eye-catcher.., as are those yellow pannier bags!

    • Thanks, Paul. I don’t know about the tpi on the McClure Pass tires but the Compass website should have that info. I am experimenting with various levels of PSI, but don’t have that quite dialed in yet. I love the luminous Jandd Hurricane panniers. Aptly named and very robust!

  2. I hardly touched a bike all summer due to life getting in the way. Though I wanted to, I felt apprehensive about getting back into it due to the inevitable loss of fitness. When I finally started again, I thought ‘why did I wait so long’! I’m now busy building some form so I can enjoy my rides when the better weather comes around.

  3. Welcome back to the saddle, Nola!

    Too bad the road conditions here in Portland aren’t as welcoming (gravel everywhere from the snow). Although that MC 7500 looks like it can take it in stride.

    Love. That. Paint job!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s