Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hitting the Road

In January I bought myself a new roadbike. Old Blue served me well, but he was starting to show signs of age. I thought about overhauling, upgrading and rebuilding a bit, but that would have cost half as much as a whole new, pretty, shiny bike. This was a good enough excuse for me to start shopping.
Me and Old Blue. He now lives on the trainer most of the time.
I saved a paycheck or two and then headed to a local bike store that I dislike a lot of the time – unless you walk in there and say that you want to drop a plop of cash on a bike they look at you like you smell like tripe.

But, the store has a rep for knowing its stuff and it happened to be the only place within running distance of home that carried the bike I wanted (makes it easy to drop it off for tune-ups and then just run home).

At first the bike store dude tried to sell me a $7,200 bike. Granted, I didn’t give him a price range, just what I wanted to do with the bike (uh, ride it). But seriously, I have owned cars that cost less than that.

I wanted to see if he’d match me with the bike I’d sort of already settled on, the Cervelo S2. Sure enough, he did. “But,” he said, “I don’t think we have your frame size. Let me check.”

I wanted the bike NOW. I didn’t want to order it, wait for it to come in and then be built. I was starting to stomp around and get all Veruca Salt-ish.

And then, a miracle.

The bike dude returned and said something magical: “Well, we do have one in your size. But it is a 2009 so since it is old we will give you 30 percent off, because, you know, it’s, like, old.”

This event took place on January 8, 2010. Would I like to save, oh, more than a paycheck on a bike because it was a mere eight days past its prime?

Yes, please!

Got fitted, got the bike home and then didn’t ride it at all. Marathon training was in full swing, we got seven feet of snow and free weekends were spent skiing. I didn’t ride it until the end of April.

Once I got on, though, what a sweet, sweet ride. In 5 weeks I managed to sort of adequately train for a duathlon. Instead of being passed on the bike, I passed people! Lots of them! Mostly boys! Granted, it was a small race with lots of Huffys. After that, the bike stayed stuck to me. My new BFF.

In June I did a century ride that actually had hills. I bonded with the bike over those miles – proud of it for keeping me in the ride. The last 40 miles I did alone in a thunderstorm. The road became covered in worms and by the end I and the bike were splattered with road, mud and worm guts.

I did another du in July – a race that I do just about every year, and PRed on the course thanks to my bike. Minutes came off of my ride time on a 16-mile course. But, then, back in the basement it went. Time to train for another marathon. Sixteen weeks of running only.

Now, I am training for nothing. At least not yet. And the bikes are outside again, right where they belong. I’ve been mostly on the mountain bike but threw the roadbike on the rack Friday morning (well, Bill threw it on … I can’t reach) for a weekend at my parents’ house. They live in an area fantastic for road rides – rolling hills, decently paved, little traffic.

This morning I set out for my first road ride since JULY. July. Embarrassing.

It was freezing. I put on every article of bike clothing I had with me and loaded a water bottle with hot Gatorade (is that gross?) and headed out the door. And then promptly headed back in. My right pedal wouldn’t work and it took me 20 minutes to figure out how to fix it. 
My misbehaving right pedal. How exciting.

 Finally hit the road for a 30-mile winding route and, surprisingly, didn't get lost.I was having so much fun. I forgot how much  great it is to climb, zoom down hills, push the flats.  I ended up riding along the Severn River for a bit and then saw a sign seeking an anvil, of course.  Eventually wove my way back to the parents' house. Clothes are alraedy laid out and Gatorade is waiting to be heated for tomorrow's ride.

In case you need to get rid of your anvil call
Today's ride apparently made me lose my head.


Anonymous said...

Was this Wissahickon Cyclery you went to? Or the shop in Manayunk?

I love that feeling to getting on your bike after months off, and just soaring... Nothing like it.

Any recs for trainers? I'm in the market for one this winter? Something functional and not super expensive.

Michelle Simmons said...

I ride Cervelos too! LOVE them. I have a P3 and a Soloist. My local bike shop still loves me for that purchase (I bought them both at once with a huge bonus check!)

Laurie said...

The shop in Manayunk ... I didn't love it there in terms of snobbery but they know what they are doing. The guy who fitted me was nice but I sort of wanted to punch some of the other people.
Michelle -- I love, love my bike and will absolutely buy another Cervelo when I need/want a new one. And I apparently need to change careers -- a P3 and a Soloist with a bonus? Nice!