After I had got a new – suspended – seat post from Germany and installed it, I took the Stevens on a new – and longer – route to try the suspension out. And it really worked. Together with the polymer suspension in the saddle it made the ride relatively comfortable on those fairly bumpy Karnes County roads. The new route took me to Falls City and from there on FM 887, FM 2724, FM 627 and Hwy 80 through Helena back to Karnes City. The route can be seen here at RideWithGPS. I enjoyed the ride a lot despite the sometimes breezy wind [which, finally, did take a toll on me] from the northern quadrant. But that – winds basically from the north – is why I had wanted to go north first and have the wind on my back on the return trip. Somewhat unfortunately, that was only true for the last 14 miles. I had mapped it out on my computer with Mapsource and then transferred the track plus the map(s) to my Garmin GPSmap 76CSx so as to have a map with me on the bike. And that’s why I had to ride the Stevens as only on that bicycle I have the mount on the handlebar to fit the device on/in.
All things told, I was not unhappy with my performance: 44 miles in 3 hours and 5 minutes riding time at an average on 14.4 mph. I know that the Stevens is my “slowest” bicycle as it weighs more than the Dancelli and also has well-threaded tires, which make for more rolling resistance. And my average heart rate of 142 was in the intended range, too. But, as said above, the ride took some of my staying power out of me which I felt on the last five miles. Those were a tad slow and hard-going. But then, just there I had to climb from the lowest point of the ride to the highest. And also, for the last few miles my leg muscles were on the verge of cramping. I really don’t know why as I’ve been keeping up with my vitamins and other supplements, especially magnesium.
As to RideWith GPS: I really like the features on that website, especially that I can have a little (flash) movie that lets me move along the ride, showing elevation, grade [in %] and speed, as well as my position on a map or on GoogleEarth.