After healing up a week I was looking forward to riding the new Madone. Saturday featured gale force winds, so I postponed the grand depart until Sunday. I am still nursing some injuries, including a large bruise and scab on my left knee and some slight pain in my left hand/wrist. I decided to take it easy and go for a spin in the country near Nokesville.
Immediately, I was reminded what a brand new bike sounds like. I try to keep my bikes well maintained, but I never quite get them to the point like when they were brand new. The Madone was as silent as a submarine. There was literally no noise whatsoever – just the whir of the tire rubber on the asphalt. The shifting was perfect – just a touch and it moved. Very nice.
The ride was excellent, with the carbon behaving as advertised. Fizzhogg had it right when he said the biggest difference would be on the hills. I definitely had a little more kick on the climbs than I’m used to. The ride was very smooth and at the same time very familiar to me since I was riding on the same saddle with the same drive train and the same geometry as my old bike.
My one complaint concerned the angle of the brake hoods. The handlebar is rotated slightly more forward than what I am used to, which means the brake hoods are almost level with the ground. This is a tad aggressive for my tastes, so I’ll be adjusting the handlebar about 10 degrees so the hoods are more upright. Other than that, it ran like a champ.
Now it’s time to get back on track for the year. I am still slightly ahead of my 2011 mileage pace despite the week off, but I wasn’t able to get in a long ride in preparation for next weekend’s 58-mile Vasaloppet. Still, as long as it doesn’t pour rain all day, it should be an easier event than last year.