Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Change of gears - running replaces cycling

I’ve made a lot of really bad decisions in 2009, but the one that hurts the most is the decision to sell my Trek 3700 bicycle and replace it with the Merida 40V. At the time, I had intended to buy a hybrid, but due to the lack of choice in the market, I ended up buying another MTB. For sure, the Merida is a superior cycle, with far better components. But, four months later, I have come to the sad realization that the Trek was a far better bike for me. Where the Trek fitted me like a glove, the Merida has continuously given me grief. The things that I dislike are

Seat: the stock seat is just too firm and far too narrow. I was never able to get into a comfortable position on the bike. I replaced it with a seat from the Cannondale quick 5 which is far more suited

- Geometry: This is far harder to fix. The Merida has a slightly stretched riding posture compared to the Trek. As a result, I either have to lower the seat or move it forward to get a comfortable position for my arms. But, this results in the extra load getting transferred to my legs. A solution that has been suggested is to get a shorter stem to reduce the reach.

As a result of this, long rides have become painful both during and after the ride. So much so, that it has been a long time since I have gone on a long ride and most of my rides have been restricted to short 20-30 km ones. Add to this, my Chennai visits in Sep-Oct and the fact that since Mukund was born, I’ve had to shift my exercise routine to a little later in the morning(by which time the traffic is too heavy to cycle), the net result is that my cycle mileage has gone down from 400 km to less than 100 km a month.

But, I am far too hooked on the exercise bug and the space vacated by cycling has been replaced with cycling. I’ve gradually increased my running distance from almost nil to around 50 km a month in Oct/Nov and should cross a 100 km in December. And I plan to keep it there till the cycling bug returns…

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