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A Bike of my Own!

After weeks of searching, I finally took the plunge and bought my very first road bike. And, the search made the end product that much more wonderful, let me tell ya. I feel like this machine was made to fit me. It was the bike that when I got on it the first time, I thought it didn’t fit because it was “too comfortable.” Luckily, it was also at the store that I liked the people at most – Cville Bike and Tri. They were fun people and didn’t try to trick me into getting a bike that was too small for me to make a sale like other places….Though, I guess I am a pretty weird customer for them. Some random girl who hasn’t ridden much at all who wants to get a nice road bike and see what happens!

Me and my new friend, Val

Ever since I knew for sure which bike was for me Saturday afternoon I was so nervous/excited for this day when I would make it mine. I knew I was getting a great piece of equipment, but, kind of worried about not really knowing what I’m doing. It is pretty nerve wracking being at the bottom of the totem pole…

I barely got through lunch with my buyers jitters  but managed to get down a veggie sub from subway. It might be my last one for a while. They aren’t as tastey as that first one I had in Las Vegas. It’s kind of been downhill ever since….

But anything with ample jalapenos on it can't be too horrible, right 🙂 ?

The fitting consisted of first adjusting the seat height (basically up up up baby, cuz my legs be loooooong) so my knee was at a 30ish degree angle when extended, then moving the seat horizontally some to get my knee in the right position above the pedal, then moving the handlebars some to improve my shoulder and elbow position.

This store was also really nice and taught me how to change a flat! He showed me and watched me do it. Good stuff!

And, if you thought there was no way a bike could fit in a VW bug, think again!

This pic kind of makes me anxious now though

And, then, of course I had to consummate my relationship with Val (<-the bike!) and give her her first ride! And, let’s get real, about 2 minutes from my house I had a mild freak out because of the traffic and not really feeling comfortable getting on and off.

So, I took a breath, walked to the football stadium parking lot and practiced a lot of balancing – getting comfortable riding around with the left foot in the pedal and moving around by pushing off with my right foot like a scooter. This little drill was pretty amazing. I began to trust the bike and it improved my balance a lot in a short period of time. I’m now able to restart after stopping more glamorously and stop quickly while moving up off the seat. No more almost falling over with every stop. It’s something I didn’t expect because your bike is kind of awkwardly high to get up on when it actually fits right….

I also practiced standing up and riding, riding in a straight line, and water bottle grabbing while on the go. These things probably looked silly to passers by but I now feel so comfy with my new bike and not a danger to myself and parked cars, hehehe.

Then I just took a little ride up and down some on-campus hills. My new bike has SRAM double-tap shifting, and it’s amazing. When I first tried bikes I thought I needed Shimano 2 lever shifters, but these SRAM’s stole my heart. They are so intuitive and my hand it in a more comfy position – in fact, you have a near infinite number of hand positions to choose from! I highly recommend them.

And wow, let’s just say shifting on a nice road bike in general is an awesome experience compared to child department store bikes… sooo smooooooth! The last time I was on a bike, was 5 years ago when I found these rusty things in my friend’s shed that we use to cruise to the beach. This is such a glamorous change!!

So, obviously I’m in love with my road bike. I think it’s going to train me in new exciting ways and I’m excited for what’s ahead.

Don’t worry, I’ll still run…..Next step triathlon right?


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