I picked it up from the shop last Saturday after a full 'size fit' adjustment and was too scared to try riding it on the main road. I wheeled it down to my first side street with a full bike lane and wobblingly took off. Terri-f*ck-ing-fied. Wobble wobble, can't turn my head, not sure how to stop, gear was wrong and too scared to try changing it. If anyone opens a car door I'm going to just have to hit it.
Rode down the bike path briefly, thinking: I have made a terrible (and costly) mistake... Everything feels completely wrong.
Got home, still unsure. Sunday: waited for a break in the rain to ride to a friend's. Wobble wobble whoah. Hmm this isn't so bad. Hey crap how fast can I go! Heehee.. Hmm! Stopped at lights, then took off whacking loads of power into the pedal in error, and almost fell over. Hmm.. Cars seemed to be playing nicely too, though that could have been them seeing me wobble. Wind struck and the bike wobbled more! Nearly got blown to one side. Much lighter bike = brain has to relearn cycling techniques.
Got home and felt much more positive. Thinking... That was fun! But felt much more hunched over and less upright, worrying about the commute to work.
By Friday I had realized I was getting fewer pains than I normally get from riding. I think this bike fits me loads better. It is really easy to get on and off at lights: the dimensions have my left foot closer to the ground so I don't stretch out my toe at lights without dismounting like I used to. There is something really fun about taking off.
I used to (unintentionally - sometimes nervously) grip really hard on my handlebars, if I encountered too many dodgy car moves on the commute, and last week on my old bike I had a really sore upper arm from tension after one particular ride home. Basically I think I was putting as much energy into my arms as I was my legs. With the road bike, aaaall the power is going into the pedals. I simply can't waste energy in my arms like I used to because of the design of the bike. This was a really bad habit I was vaguely aware of, but I didn't remember it every time to try to fix it. I sometimes used to have to think 'stop using your arms' while I was riding!
And with the dropbars, well, surely I'm not the only one to note the similarity to a first person shooter game? Pew pew pew, take that, jaywalking pedestrian!