It finally stopped raining long enough so I could get a decent length ride in on my new bike. I figured I'd start with the 22-mile ride to Bedford and back along the Minuteman trail as its a ride I've done many, many times on my previous bike. What fun! Even with what seemed to be a fairly strong cross-wind, I was able to complete the ride about 10 minutes faster than I've done in the past (just under 1h10m with an average speed of 19mph). The "hills" also seemed to vanish completely. In the stretch from Lexington to Bedford, I dropped to the lower hand position and was averaging just about 25mph. On the return, I did the same on the stretch from Trader Joe's to Arlington. At one point I exchanged drafts with another rider which was fun as the draft took away all effort required to maintain a 20+ mph speed. The bike remained comfortable throughout - no hand or butt fatigue or pain during or after the ride.
The only downside is that now I have two goals - the first remains to complete a century ride (100 miles). The new goal is to complete the Bedford round trip in under an hour. This may be a bit of a stretch, but isn't that the point of having goals?