Due to a couple of days sick leave, I have the Apollo up and running now. It only took about two hours of fiddling to get the brakes correct. I had a bit of a ride around the car park and tried to understand how derailleur gears work. A loose translation would surely be derailing gears. Hmmm, not sure about a gear system that derails. I was not well enough to take it out. It took all my energy just to lift it off the hook. But I felt a bit better today, so I strapped on the old fashioned blue bike hat.
Going down the carpark ramps at a fair pace was fun. Out into Queen's Lane and then down the footpath of Bowen Crescent and then along Kingsway footpath a bit. I had already rehearsed my 'not ridden a bike for thirty years officer. I am too scared to go on the road' speech. I dismounted to cross Kingsway.
I set off along the Albert Road footpath to the lake. Doing ok. Terribly uncomfortable position though, leaning forward. Seat is too high, but it has seized and won't lower. Will fix that later.
Now I have asked many people about the derailleur gears and no one has ever given me a simple explanation. It is a ratio system. The left lever operates at the cogs at the pedals and the right lever alters the chain at the wheel cogs. So simple. Why did no one tell me? Why did I spend twenty minutes on the net searching for the info, without a result? While I am not an expert, at least I know how the gears work now.
The brake cables have freed up nicely with some use and I seem to have their adjustment pretty ok.
I thought I was doing ok on the gravel path around the lake, but then a jogger overtook me. Every time I slowed down, I wobbled and wandered badly. Once I was at the southern end of the lake I stopped for a break for a couple of minutes and watched the workmen working on the lake wall scratching their nuts.
The other side of the lake was very unfamiliar to me. There was a boardwalk about one metre wide alongside what I think was Rob's Carousel, Redheads, Carousel. I was going to get off and walk to be on the safe side, but I thought bugger it, I will give it a shot. I was unlikely to catch up to the power walking chicks in front of me. I encountered two joggers coming towards me and avoided them. But then a guy came around the corner of the boardwalk unexpectedly and I lost my nerve. I braked too hard and grazed arm on some shade cloth. Damn, my first bike injury.
Somehow I ended up down near the old cricket ground when really I wanted to stay near the lake. Enough, I am going home. There was a quiet road for a bit. I switched the chain to the big cog at the front and the big cog at the rear and pedalled hard. It went fast. My brother, whose bike it was. said it vibrates over 30kph. No it didn't. It must have been the old tyres. I felt in full control of it then. Why do I wobble so badly at slow speeds? I worked it out later. I have never ridden a bike at slow speeds. When I was kid, there weren't pedestrains to dodge or worry about. It was just always open road.
Bike went back on the rack until another day. Surprisingly no sore leg muscles. We walked to South Yarra tonight to eat and no problem. Feeling quite self satisfied.