My first flat tire; I had everything but a tire lever and the experience to change it.
When I first met my husband, Tim, we got into mountain biking and while I loved it I was always a cautious biker for fear that I might pop a tire in the middle of the woods and my daredevil husband would be so far in front of me that I would be left alone helpless. I had all the necessary tools for changing a flat tire during our mountain biking days but I’m proud to say that during three seasons of the sport I never once got a flat. I watched Tim change countless tires and was always confident that if my day came I would be good to go.
Last year when I decided to try triathlons (also at the nudging of Tim and others) I transferred my saddlebag from the mountain bike to my Cannondale road bike and added the requisite spare tubes and patch kit. My bike routes involve all sorts of potentially hazardous areas for tires from roads with no shoulder to uneven roads to busy roads with big shoulders that are littered with everything imaginable. In my first season of riding, after every ride I felt lucky to come home without a flat tire. But luck cannot last forever. Continue reading
Recently I wrote about the process of buying a new road bike. At the time I had tons of questions. My husband and I were buying road bikes together and it turned out that his bike was delivered to the store a week before mine. I watched as he got an orientation to his bike, was shown how the gears worked (very different than I’d ever seen), did a test ride around the parking lot, and talked through the various carbon components with the Bike Doctor’s bike expert. I tried to pay close attention knowing I would be doing the same thing soon enough.
Originally the Cannondale Synapse bike I ordered was to have an aluminum frame but nowhere could the Bike Doctor find one in my size. I was upgraded to a carbon frame on a 9-speed bike rather than a 10-speed bike with the rest of the components being essentially the same. The bike I’ve been training on so far is a 9-speed so while I understand there are certain advantages to having just two big gears, I was comfortable knowing my new bike would have a set-up I’m familiar with. Finally, my Cannondale Synapse Feminine 6 arrived and I went to the store to meet her (yep, I refer to my bike as a female and am working on names now!). Continue reading
Photo by vufgew.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason; whether I agree with the reason or not is something else entirely. For months now I have been training for the bike portion of my triathlon in a combination of ways. I started out in spin class at the gym until it warmed up enough this spring for me to bike outside. (Mind you, I ran outside all winter but biking in cool weather I find to be much more chilling, so I stayed indoors until the temperatures suited me.) I also worked the stationary bike into a number of work-outs mostly because I found it easier to do a controlled hill work-out on the stationary bike. Though I’ve been riding my mountain bike for my outdoor rides, I never planned to ride it in the actual race.
For the race, my plan has long been to borrow someone else’s road bike. As luck would have it, a friend of my parents who is about my size offered her road bike to me for the triathlon. Wanting to get some practice time in on the bike I happily picked it up and accompanied my husband to our local Bike Doctor where he was going to buy a new bike and I was going to have the borrowed bike adjusted to fit me.
Almost from the day I signed up for the race my husband has encouraged me to just buy a proper road bike. My preference has been to make sure I like triathlons before making a purchase. I sat on the hardly ridden, borrowed Trek bike in the store and an associate came over and immediately (but nicely) squashed any thoughts I had of riding that bike. It is a size 54 and I was identified as a size 51. The seat is too far back and too angled down for me and the handlebars are too far away. I attempted the conversation of things we could do to make the bike work for me but with my husband and two associates pleading the case for why I should have my own bike, I finally caved. Buying a bike was not what I had planned for the day, but I guess that is what was supposed to happen. Let’s just hope I love triathlons! Continue reading