Chapter 5 - Let's Try Riding a Cross Bike

Haah... I'm kinda nervous for some reason.
Fwaah~ ...I can't believe I had to get up so early on a day off.
I've been telling you for ages this is the day Mai-sama was going to let me take her bike for a ride.
Yes, well, I forgot... My usual morning routine on my days off is to laze around in bed making sweet love to you until midday.
You have no such routine! Look, Mai-sama's here now... Huh, Reo-sama came too...
But of course. The two of them are an item, after all. However, they could never hope to surpass our lovey-doveyness... *smooch*♡
Geeze, do you really have to kiss me here...? Someone's gonna see...
Risa-chan, Miya-chan, good morning, both of you.
Good morning... *munch-munch*
Haah, haah... G- Good morning...
(Th- Thank goodness... I don't think they saw us kissing...)
Reo-sama, what manner of sweets have you brought with you today?
It's a 'Creamy Cheesecake,' available exclusively at convenience stores. Why, you jealous?
Oh, that? I already enjoyed one of those yesterday.
Gh.. Well I had one two days ago! This is my second.
Oh... But I'm quite certain that only went on sale just yesterday.
W- Well the store near my house got it a day early!
So I see... Hehehe♡
Hey, what's so funny?!
U- Um, hey Miya, do you really have to tease her like that...?
It's fine, Risa-chan. I think that's just their way of saying hello.
If- If you say so...
By the way, Mai-sama, would this happen to be your bicycle?
It sure is. It's called a cross bike♪
Cross...? It looks kind of hardcore... It's pretty different from the bikes I'm used to riding.
I'm guessing you typically ride on what people call "granny bikes"?
Uh... Yeah...
Cross bikes are different because they're meant to make long rides easier, so they're designed like this.
The seat looks like it's positioned fairly high...
That's right. If you're not used to riding one, the forward-bent posture can be kind of intimidating your first time out. But that posture is the most efficient.
Is it really that different?
Yeah... Before you take this one out for a spin, maybe I should give you a crash course in the differences between a regular bike and a sports bike.
Ma~ai, is it all right if I go eat my snacks on that bench over there?
Yeah, I guess... You could have just stayed home though, you know.
...How am I supposed to stay home by myself when you're out having fun with other girls...? Honestly...
Hm? Did you say something, Reo?
I- I didn't say anything... Sheesh... *munch-munch...munch*
Since you came all the way out here, maybe you'd like to give riding a try too?
I'm not getting on that thing!
Goodness... Reo-sama displayed quite a burst of energy running over there...
Well, it doesn't matter. I stuffed her bag full of snacks before coming here, so she should be fine. Why don't the three of us enjoy a little tea afterward?
Thanks for the offer.
I actually brought some snacks of my own. And tea as well... It's in this pot.
You never come unprepared... Well, why don't I go ahead and listen to what you have to say while I look forward to that tea?
Hehehe, sounds good. Let's get started then♪
First, a cross bike is lighter than a regular bike. You can tell right away that it's easier to start pedaling.
The lighter weight makes it easier... I think I get it.
Hehehe, it's surprising once you ride one for real. The next point is something Miya-chan already mentioned - that the seat and handlebars are higher.
Unlike a regular bike, a cross bike has those two components at roughly the same level, so when you ride, it forces you into the forward-bent position.
...And that distributes your weight evenly between the seat and handlebars... Isn't that correct?
Exactly right. I'm impressed, Miya-chan. You already seem to know quite a bit about this.
But of course. I am a genius, after all.
There you go again... Mai-sama, why is a cross bike different in that regard?
Because unlike a regular bike, where you just plunk yourself down on the seat, this puts less pressure on your rear.
It is true that when I ride for long periods on a regular bike, my butt does get sore.
Exactly. That kind of bike is fine for short outings like going shopping, but riding for longer periods is really rough.
I know exactly what you mean about that.
When you're in the forward-bent posture, you can cycle the pedals much more smoothly.
...Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
The tires are also different... They seem much thinner than on an ordinary bike.
That's right. They're thinner to decrease friction with the road surface. That enables you to move without expending as much energy.
But wouldn't they be easier to puncture if they're that thin?
That's true. They would surely collapse under the weight of your recently plumped behind... Oh, the humanity.
S- Stop saying stuff like that, Miya!
It's fine, as long as you have them properly inflated. I ride mine every day.
I see. But the more I hear you talk, the more a cross bike sounds like a sports bike... for going on long rides.
They're basically the same, but whereas a regular bike is like an everyday sandal, a cross bike is more like an athletic sneaker♪
In other words... although you could certainly run in sandals, your efficiency would suffer.
There are also things called road bikes for even more advanced riders, but I don't really know that much about those.
I see... So what are some other advantages of a cross bike?
Let's see... The frames are constructed better. They're more flexible and durable.
The frame... That's the body, right? I hadn't really paid much attention to that before.
Regular bikes are made cheaply, and not as stiff.
Specifically... Let's see... When you're pedaling, the frame flexes, causing you to lose energy, and lowering your performance.
Mm-hmm, I see...
This cross bike would seem to be an efficient apparatus for long rides.
Indeed. So do you understand now how it's different from a regular bike?
Yeah... I think so.
Well then, are you ready to give it a spin?
All right. Here goes...
Oh, wait just a second. Let me adjust the seat height to make it a little easier for you.
Oh... Thanks.
Risa, don't be so nervous. The bicycle isn't going to run away from you.
But... I'm just really excited.
*munch-munch* ...Are you finally getting around to riding? That took forever.
Reo, did you come to cheer on Risa-chan too?
No. I wanted to know if I could get some ice cream from that shop over there.
Sheesh, I figured it was something like that... All right, today is special. Go ahead.
All right♪
Mai-sama... Are you sure you don't mind Reo-sama going off on her own?
It's fine. Reo's just doing what makes her happy... There, that should be good.
Thank you.
Since this is your first time, I raised the handlebars, and lowered the seat just a little. Just let me know if it doesn't feel comfortable, and I can adjust it again.
All right... Well, here I go... I'm a little nervous.
You can do it, Risa.
(This cross bike is totally different from a regular one... I wonder what it'll be like.)

To be continued... Next time♪

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