In the Saddle: Go, granny, go | AspenTimes.com

In the Saddle: Go, granny, go

Janet Urquhart

I was thinking “Greased Lightning” might be my new nickname as I swung out of the back alley of the Times yesterday on my new road bike. Of course, I’d made no preparations for my epic debut ride, so the pedals were cranked down way too tight for me to even flirt with the idea of clicking in, and the seat needs to be raised a tad. Mental note: Pack a tool or two next time.I was about five blocks from the office, headed toward Castle Creek Road, when I managed to knock the chain off. The only grease of the day turned out to be the synthetic substitute I got all over my fingers, and the only lightning was threatening to appear from overhead.I got as far as Seventh Street, where I was turned around by some guy who explained the bike-pedestrian bridge was closed for resurfacing. Mental note: The Marolt Trail is closed today, as well.Unsure and unsteady as I was on my new ride, there was no way I was venturing out of town on the S-curves, so I turned and headed toward a climb I haven’t tried since early June – Independence Pass. I hadn’t actually been that way on a road bike in years, as my old roadster was mechanically challenged.Now, it’s just me who’s mechanically challenged. My new bike has, like, 27 gears, of which I managed to find about six. I manually placed it into one of them after knocking the chain off a second time.Shift systems have changed dramatically since I last bought a road bike, and I’m used to those handy indicators on the handlebars of my mountain bike that show me what gear I’m in. At an un-lightning-like pace, I huffed past Difficult Campground and managed to shift into the lowest possible gear. Yes, granny gear. Already.At least I managed to pass a couple of other riders. That never happens when I’m blazing up the pavement on my mountain bike.The ride home was a blur, literally. I gripped the brakes and quaked at the sight of a smattering of loose gravel or the hint of a crack in the asphalt. But, a downpour was imminent and I didn’t want to test my skills on slick pavement. (Also, I didn’t want to get my new bike all wet/dirty). So, I let her rip.Mental note: Update my will.