I decided to try out the Jamis again yesterday. I have been having a hard time shifting up to the big ring, which I thought was all my fault before I took it in to have a look at. After some fiddling with the gears, I was told it was half my fault, half the bike's fault. Why was it partially my fault? I have little hands, and I have a hard time extending my hand far enough to push the break lever all the way over to switch to the highest gear.
I decided to meet Tim up at work again, which I like because it ends up being about a 30 mile ride and I get to ride half of that with him. I also met a couple of guys at a stop light who were on their way to Northbrook (Brian and Adam?). It was nice riding and chatting with them for a little while. I do all of my best, and possibly most destructive, thinking while I'm on a bike ride, so talking and meeting a couple of guys was a nice way to get my mind of things and just ride.
I practiced shifting and I can definitely tell my riding skills and my body have improved since the last time I did that ride. I cut a bunch of time off, and I even had enough time to stop and watch some Little League before meeting up with Tim.
I still have a lot to work on of course, but I can tell I'm getting better and better. Coach Tim says the next step is to work on crosschaining and knowing where my chain is at all times. I have been avoiding that because of my shifting problem, but I know he is right. Hopefully it won't take me another 2 months to get on this bike again.
When My dad first took the training wheels off my bike I rode it straight into the neighbor's tree. I cried, got off the bike, went into the house and that was that. The next morning I woke up and said, "I'm going to ride that bike." I got on the bike and rode it down the block as if I had done it a million times before. All it took was confidence and determination.
I feel like a kid again learning how to ride a bike. Only this time there's a lot more tricks and I have a lot less energy.