Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bliss

If you've been reading my blog for long, you know that I've been coveting a road bike for about two years now.  I had a good little savings built up, but then my brother and I decided to do the Berryman Adventure Race, which meant I had to get a mountain bike.  And I love my mountain bike.  Love it.  Even though it scares the heck out of me, it's the coolest thrill ride I've been on.

But.  I still want a road bike.  I'd like to place in the Tour de Donut without having to eat 11 donuts.  I'd like to finish a century in fewer than 9 hours.  I'd like to have the chance to see if I can ride as fast as people kept telling me I would if I had a road bike.

Well.  Look what followed me home on Saturday. =)

<big smile>my new bike<still smiling>
Please disregard our messy garage

After over a year of watching Craigslist, calling about bikes and never hearing back, kind of giving up because I wouldn't feel confident buying without someone who knew what they were talking about along and it seems like with CL you needed to be there right then with cash in hand, watching my brother get a sweet road bike last summer, drooling over the impossibly priced (for me) bikes in the local bike shop...I had the good luck to make a friend who had a road bike for sale and was looking for more female ride partners.

So I have much more bike than I could afford new, and I'm thrilled.  As soon as I could get away with it on Sunday, I took the bike out in our neighborhood.  Figuring out the shifting took me a little bit, but once I knew what to do it was super easy.  That little bitty seat had me pretty uncomfortable last night, but at least the areas that hurt are much smaller than with the big gel seat on the hybrid.  And the bike just floats down the road.

I had planned to ride last night with my friends Judy and Vanessa, but I wasn't taking any chances with the rainy forecast.  The weather has robbed me of way too many mountain bike rides already, I wasn't going to let it steal my first chance for a long ride on my new bike.  I had taken off the day to help out at my son's school (incidentally, WAY more work than being in my own classroom, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world), so I had time in the afternoon to go for a ride.

I took the bike out on the local bike paths.  They're flat and smooth and I figured they'd be a good, safe place to get used to the new positioning on the bike.  I rode 18 miles, mostly alone execept for a couple near the end with a guy who drafted off me til I noticed him and then pulled alongside to talk.  I guess now the topic is going to change from "you really need a road bike" to "you really need to get clipless pedals".  I'm sold...I'm convinced...I just need to have the money for the shoes now. :)  Always something.

As luck would have it (and I mean that sincerely), the weather held and I was able to ride with my friends after all.  The tri club has a regular Tuesday night ride, but we met a little later than that due to schedules and it was just the three of us.  That was fine for me.  You know how change makes me nervous, doing things with new people makes me nervous....and doing new things with a lot of new people makes me nervous.  Baby steps.  We rode the club route but never met up with anyone else. 

I did get to meet the Whiteside road hill, twice.  It's a longish hill that starts out ok and gets steeper near the top.  My first time up wasn't bad at all.  The second time I started in too high a gear and then bottomed out on gears way too early.  I never did get out of the saddle to climb, which maybe would have made it easier.  That'll be something to experiment with next time.  I must not have done too badly, though.

photo.PNG
We ended up riding 18 miles, which gave me a total of 36 miles for the day.  Not bad, considering my last double-digit ride was back in March.  I was definitely ready to get off the bike seat, and my lower back was uncomfortable at the end...I think just a case of adjusting to the new position.  Also, the compact double chainring is going to take some getting used to, but as I build up my leg strength and spend more time on hills and just spend more time on the bike in general, I think it'll be good.

Hopefully it's good; I have my first race on it in just a few days.  On Monday, I'm doing the Highland biathlon, a 5 mi run/15 mile bike.  Can't wait to see how it goes.  For now, I'm just basking in the glow of finally getting my new bike and having more people to ride with.  It's not only easier to ride in a group, it's a lot more fun.  And if crossing the road bike off my wish list made room at the bottom for a cross bike, we won't mention that yet to my husband.  He's got to get used to the idea of three bikes in the garage before I spring the thought of a fourth on him.

17 comments:

Amanda@runninghood said...

Kate, this is so great that you got your new road bike! I love how you say that the bike just floats down the road. That is how my Trek feels when I used to ride it. I'm such a chicken and I really should get out there and ride it. I bought it for the purpose of trying a tri and then I ended up using it ride around the city and commute to work...what a waste of $1500 (a decent tri bike for a beginner)..uggh! So now it is just collecting dust. This kind of inspires me to get out there and try it out more after this marathon! So happy for you!

GeorgiaSnail said...

As a full time runner who used to cycle some in my HS/college days, I like a little bike porn now & then...That bike sure is purdy...makes me want to get one...

The Bear said...

Nashbar had a deal on some women's shoes. Buy a pair of mountain bike shoes. You'll be able to wear them on both bikes.

Also, when you get a little cash, head over to the Cyclery and over to the seat section. Bontrager has their line of men's and women's seats. And get this: they come in sizes. You sit on a pad and they measure your pelvic bones (off the pad, and not off your pelvis!) and then you get the proper sized seat. I was skeptical, but I am a believer after two years on the Gary Fisher.

And with the fast bike, you'll probably beat me at Highland.

Julie said...

HOORAY for a new bike!!! YES...you MUST go clipless!

A Journey to a new me... said...

Congratulations on the new bike!! Looks like a sweet ride!!! for now, I'll stick with my pedel pusher!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

enjoy! 18 miles is a pretty nice break-in ride as well.

i have to admit - i am not a fan of clipless.

Kristen said...

Congrats to you! You deserve it!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Awesome bike score!!!

ajh said...

I so want to do the Tour de doughnut! Great new bike! Enjoy it! Tons! Can't wait to see how your du goes. You will be great and inspiring I am sure!
Here is a Tour de Farm post I did last fall. GREAT GREAT ride. http://wwwagegroupsrock.blogspot.com/2010/09/le-tour-de-farm-sample-after-sample.html

Patrick said...

A cross bike, really? That is a lot of money that could be spent on gear.

Mike said...

Sweet ride! Enjoy the aero aspect. I'll see ya out there!

Jennifer said...

Congrats on the new bike!!!

Chris K said...

I'm happy if you're happy Super Kate. I gotta say, I know NOTHING about bikes. Nothing.

But, coveting something for a year and then getting it is Bliss. Good for you.

Cheeseboy said...

Pretty sweet bike. I think I could actually probably do that biathalon.

Cory Reese said...

That. Bike. Is. AWESOME! You will love it.

(I'm a fan of clipless.)

Jill said...

Ooooh, lucky girl to find such a score on CL! I scoured that place for along time, too, but I was in a hurry when I took off running. I like biking, but I tell you it is so freaking expensive! I just bought stupid $100 bike shorts in an attempt to save my butt on those uber long runs....let me tell you they are WORTHLESS! Might as well wear my crappy $30 ones. Just a tip there!! :)

Bring the bike on out to Colorado and we'll ride!! :)

Black Knight said...

You have a new bike, congrats.
I'm going to sell mine (my wife said: "no more, I don't want to spend my days near your bed in the hospital").