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Road bike !?@&?????

I'll sum the ride in a few words : what the Heck and why would you EVER!?!? This missive goes out to my cyclist friends.
So I've been eyeing a road bike. I thought it would be nice to gain speed. You know ride with people, be social blah blah. Bruce had been encouraging me to rent a road bike from MWR on Base. On Friday night, it occured to me why not contact my local bike shop and ride one on their beginner ride. I went in Friday night and was fitted to a carbon framed Specialized Ruby . So the fit was not ideal, it was still too long. I could not remove my hands from the grips.
As a demo though...I'd try it.

On Sat morn, I arrived 30 minutes early. I was able to get the bike 15 minutes later, but unfortunately the parking lot was full of 15 or so bikers. No room to tool around and get a feel. As the 'C' group formed up I warned people to give me a wide berth. At which point the ride leader inquired as to whether I had cotemplated not doing a group ride. I said I had and as a matter of fact, I'd go ride somewhere else right now. A couple of people came to my defense; I had just ridden 109+ miles hadn't I? She re-iterated there would be hills. I nodded and someone chimed in that I'd know after the first few hills. So bolstered somewhat, off we set. I lagged woefully trying to decipher gearing. My grip shifts were notably different from these things. They were all in one shifter and brakes. One paddle in to upshift, both in to down and grab it to brake. Under steam I was 'ok' but stoppiing and starting was quite a chore.

I felt imbalanced, had butt pain, my lady parts went numb at a quarter mile, and well there was zero joy. Early on I knew where we were going and told the leader I was peeling off before serious hills. She did lean i to verify i'd take the ruby out again. I did not tell her that monkeys would fly outta my pained tushie first, but boy did I think it as I smiled and said oh yea, of course. All told, I rode 14 miles; 5 of which were 'flats' where betsey saw 15-17+ mph mile averages; this bike???? 16-18+ mph. While I know with training, TITS and a properly fitted bike I could ride and see speed improvements. Seriously who would want to? Holy cow,y'all are sadists I mean honestly, how do you do it? The next day my shoulders, neck and abs were killing me!

So after it's all been said and done, I'm going to try a RANS Zenetik Road. Hopefully it will be nice and provide enough of a speed improvement (please let this guy be right) to contemplate getting it. Keep u fingers crossed for me!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 26th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
The ride leader sounds like an ass...

There's a lot to be said for the fit. If you were reaching too far for the grips, you are screwing up just about everything else.

Were you wearing padded bike shorts with a chamois? Were you wearing underwear? (Don't. Not with a chamois.) Butt butter does wonderful things for saddle pain. Your saddle may not have been the right fit as well.

The shoulders, neck and abs DO hurt for the first several rides. TITS takes care of that. But you do have to get used to being in an ENTIRELY different position than you're used to. You're crouched over instead of lying back. You have (I am guessing) more maneuverability in the standard road bike position, as well as the ability to gain more speed.

Why? Well, because yes, once your fit is right (and it took me multiple fittings to get there) and you do get the TITS and get used to it, you feel like you and the bike are one. It gets to be fun to fly in that position over roads.

This might not have been the bike for you. Several bikes out there make women specific geometries for the shorter-torso'ed among us. My Trek is a WSD Trek because my torso is so short, and it fits really well. Once you adapt to it, and the bike is adapted properly to you, it feels more like an extension of your body, a "machine" that connects you to the road. But it takes a lot of getting comfortable to get there, and oh yeah, toe clips. :-P

And it can be a colossal PITA to get there. Wouldn't blame you if you didn't want a road bike, but keep checking out your options and don't slam the door on it yet. And screw the folks who were giving you grief. How many of them had ridden 100+ miles? ALL AT ONCE?
Aug. 26th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC)
Also, check out a different bike shop. Not sure I'd go back to one where they gave you grief in front of everyone. My first group ride, where I was a total green newbie, they were nice to me and didn't say a word snidely when I fell at mile 14 and had to get SAG'ged in. And I didn't even have the Century rides under my belt to lend me street cred. Bike shops should be incredibly nice, as should their ride leaders. You're their customer base, after all - and their business is only as good as their outreach and inclusiveness.
Aug. 27th, 2010 11:53 am (UTC)
Yea, I was kinda bent too. Especially since a young 'un (early teens... maybe) was along. It was just embarrassing. I mean really??? I've ridden a grand in miles this year... what about you??? (the leaders and others on the ride). It took me back to the snarky comments I had on last ride. The group fracturing up and some were headed back out for a heavy hill before looping in. I wanted to go, the distance was not an issue, but I really did not want to keep their speed down. I mumbled something and someone commented oh really,you could do x miles??? I could do that additional mileage (making it like a 35 mile ride). I snipped back yea, distance not an issue in 2 weeks i'll ride 112 or so and oh yea did I mention I had done 80 last weekend? ARGH, I get NO respect. Or should I say Betsey doesn't. Regardless... I have average 12mph (10mph factoring in stops), but I'm starting to think that is a-okay.

I did wear shorts, sans skivvies. I usually don't butter unless over 30 or so. I know all the TITS stuff... honestly though... why a road bike? I don't recline, not recumbent, I just sit upright. (my wrist and connector thumb to palm took a beating). I can't wait to try the other bike. I always laugh when people would chat me up about how much more comfortable I must be. I did not realize that they were likely very right. The pain is not worth it. Bruce is praying that IF I get the Z and it is FAST that I will go back to dust them!!! That'll be the day!

Edited at 2010-08-27 12:55 pm (UTC)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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