I really felt it again today. A route, the first half of which was known, the second half was new. A beautiful day to cycle. And perhaps most importantly, a freshly tuned bicycle. With a thoroughly cleaned chain, a new saddle to test out and an adjusted handlebar position, I was not disappointed today. It felt like a whole new bicycle. Here's the Endomondo log of the trip.
The saddle I bought is a Serfas gel saddle. I kind of bought it on impulse, on a single recommendation of a random guy on the internet who also did touring. The saddle itself looks... uncool. It's extremely thick. Based on today's experience I'd say it's the most comfortable saddle I've ever used, even beating out my old saddle that I rode on for 5 years straight and was completely accustomed to, although by a very thin margin. It's a bit of an experiment, I'll have to see how it holds up in the long term. Even if it turns out to be crap I won't have wasted much money. Not sure if I want to shell out lots of money to buy a Brooks yet, the iSaddle of the hipster.
It's hard to describe, but something about the trip today made me feel that I'm ready for another long-distance tour. I'm still dying on the uphills, but I can at least manage the tempo at which I am dying. The bicycle is ready too, and the right season is approaching. Time to start planning.