Yesterday Melissa and I loaded up the touring bikes and rode around town. This was for me, gulp, the first time I had ever ridden Beef Bus, my newly anointed bike. (I know, I'm very ashamed of this fact.). Before heading out the door, we packed our panniers with whatever we could find. For me this ended up being a couple of soft, fluffy towels. Let me say that again-- I loaded up my touring bike with Soft. Fluffy. Towels.
Now, let me also tell you this: Melissa and I live in a basement apartment, which means our front door is up a flight of seven steps. Normally before any bike ride, I would pick up my bike, put the top tube over my shoulder and merrily skip up those stairs and out the door without another thought. Yesterday, that was not the case. Yesterday I almost got a hernia or threw out my back, or both, trying to haul my fully loaded (with soft, fluffy towels) Beef Bus up the stairs. After some curse words, a light sweat and some "umphs" and "errs" I was outside. Yes, touring bikes are heavy.
If you have ever ridden a touring bike, you know that they are a completely different beast than a road bike. They are heavy and big and, well, loaded down. So I mounted the bike and began to gingerly pedal, but . . . it actually wasn't bad. It was fun. And it made me really excited. But I also realized that I need to get out on that bike a little more. I could feel the difference in my legs between this beef bus bicycle and my other lighter, snappier bikes within the first couple of minutes. And I could also see the difference. It's amazing how much you can see when you are riding at a slower pace. But that is the point isn't it? When you bike tour, you want to go slow. You want to see as much as you can. You want to slow down the pace -- and that is exactly what I am looking forward to.