I did my final shakedown with the bike the past two days. A 58 mile pedal up to my friend Dave's house went really well. I am lucky to have the flats of Florida to start out in as pedaling the single speed pulling a B.O.B trailer is going to be a real challenge going up the hills. So, I will enjoy the flats while I have them, and just spin my way to my destination each day.
The second day of the ride, a slightly shorter, 50 miles, went well even with the 49 degree morning temperature and the falling rain. It was good because I was able to test my cool weather clothing and my inexpensive 'dry duck' rain gear. Something that can be picked up at your local fishing shop for less than $20. While it does not breathe like high tech Gore-Tex or Event fabric, it did keep me relatively dry. After about two hours their was definitely moisture built up on the inside layers, but the wool I wear does a great job of wicking that off of your skin and then drying out very quickly.
A brief stop at a Starbucks to warm up, dry off and eat lunch and I was set to finish the shakedown. As I was walking out, a gentleman came up to me and asked if that was a Fargo that I was riding. I told him it was and thus we struck up a great conversation. Seems this gentleman is from Canada and had been looking for quite a while at Fargos but was unable to actually see one in person. He, like me, had actually gone so far as to bid on several Fargos on Ebay, but each time was unsuccessful in winning. What he really wanted to do was to hop on the bike and check out the sizing. Being slightly taller than me, he felt like he was in between sizes, so hopping on my medium gave him great feedback. Unfortunately the bike was a mess or I would have let him go for a quick spin. Needless to say, he will surely be a Salsa Fargo convert and acquire one very quickly.
The rest of the ride was uneventful with the rain finally stopping and some semblance of sun coming out. It was a great shake down and just about the perfect distance. My goal is to eventually average 60 or so miles a day, but in the beginning I will slowly break in to things and average about 40 or so miles. This philosophy of going slowly and letting my body adjust has worked well in the kayak and I have no reason to doubt that it will work equally well on the bike.
Lastly, a huge thanks to my friend Dave. Dave has been one of my biggest supporters and continues to help me out in countless ways. Dave, you are true friend and a man of beautiful Spirit. Thank you for being my friend.