20120213

District: First Impressions

Between wheel building, working on outside projects, and general around the house chores, my weekend was kind of crazy awesome.  It was also the first weekend in a long time that I was able to go out on a ride, with no destination in mind - purely to ride for the joy of it, which is something I don't get out and do nearly as much as I should.  

I did also have a pretty good excuse to ignore some of my other duties and hit The Strand though, as can be seen by my previous post.  I wanted to test the District for a good fit, as well as check all the mechanics to make sure everything was peachy.  I planned on going out around the block, and ended up doing a round trip work commute!

I'll do a much more comprehensive review later, but I did want to talk about my first impression.

I've always had a slight aversion to anything without gears.  Fixed gear bikes are extremely, extremely fun to ride - but the idea of having a bike for actual riding without gears scared me a bit.  I should also say that I've always ridden steel, and generally always ride in the highest gear possible.  I'm a big fan of going fast.

So when I hopped out on the District, I was a bit taken back by the fact that I could no longer bomb on the straightaways.  The bike is light, nimble, and silent - but no matter how much I wished it, it wasn't going to go any faster.  So I was a bit frustrated.  Then I got over it.

And once I accepted the fact that I was going to go this speed, everything made sense.  

I was enjoying the beach.  The sound of the waves crashing at night.  I wasn't worried about having to downshift.  I was riding along on this silent, beautiful machine, and suddenly had this amazing appreciation for the world around me.  I was by no means going slow, but I was slower than usual, and was just enjoying the ride, getting used to the bike.

Before I knew it, I was at the turnoff that I usually take to go to work.  There are a few hills on my way to and from work that quite frankly, suck.  I wanted to see how this fifteen pound bike would fare.

And never have a climbed a hill so fast, and with so little effort.  Same with the more difficult hill, coming back.  It was nothing.  I didn't stand up in the saddle, let alone break a sweat. 

As I descended down the final hill back to The Strand, going undoubtedly faster than I've ever gone before.  I felt a kinship with this bike.  I've never ridden anything quite like this, and I can definitely see myself using this bizarre, belt driven, carbon beast as my everyday ride.  I'm going to keep working on it, making slight adjustments - maybe up the gearing a bit.  But for now, this is the kind of bike that I'd hop on a train and travel with.  This is the kind of bike that I'll take on weekend rides with friends, on a leisurely Saturday afternoon.  

When your only complaint is that you don't break a sweat because the bike slows you down just enough to notice the world around you...well, yeah.

You and me, Bike.  We're going places.  Now, you need a name.

2012 Distance Count: 281 Miles | 452.2 Kilometers

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