The Triing Lizard

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pictures from Colorado! I love the sign instructing cars to YIELD to bikes.

I used to really love to go out riding, it was always a challenge to see how fast I could go, if I could get up that steep climb, listening for that satisfying solid click as my shoe clips into the pedal on the first try. Negotiating around the cars, feeling the cold rain and other times the hot sun, and always listening to constant breaths in and out, in and out. Feeling alive.

But then I started noticing these abrupt interruptions, the horns beeping, the bottles being thrown, people making rude gestures from their cars, people yelling out the window at me. And the interruptions seemed to become more frequent. Was it that I was riding more or was it that I was riding in new places, or was I just becoming more aware of the rudeness and intolerance going on around me? It started to take all the fun away, how dare they rob me of my peaceful ride. I have every right to be there as they do. On the other hand there are many very courteous drivers, they drive patiently behind me as I do 5 miles per hour up a really steep climb b/c they can't see over the top of the hill. They swerve widely around me just in case I need to come over to avoid a hole or debris. So I'm growing my thick skin and trying not to let a handful of very rude individuals cause me to be down or to change my cycling habits.

On Saturday Jeff and I went for a 48 mile ride around Baltimore County and we didn't have any issues, no horn honking, no bottle throwing, no rude gestures, etc. So maybe the more we ride the more people will become accustomed to bikers and the better it will be! Can't we have a day where no one is allowed to drive and EVERYONE has to bike, walk, or take the bus? Maybe that would help to minimize the rudeness.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bike Dreaming!

So this weekend Jeff had me try out one of the Orbeas I've been dreaming about getting a road bike. I'm glad he didn't have me try one of the $4100 Litespeeds!! The one I rode retailed for $2100.

It's not that I don't like my current bike, it's just that I've had problems with it from Day 1. Plus I very rarely do the kind of riding that my tri bike is designed for (flat, fast, smooth roads, not very many turns, and not very much shifting). It doesn't have ANY give in it which makes it very uncomfortable and I return home from long rides not able to feel my fingertips. The frame does not have any flex in it which on bumpy roads causes me some major headaches, literally, my brain feels like it is being shaken. And the bike has NEVER shifted correctly. Currently I have to hold the shift lever in place with my hand to keep it in the middle ring. I can only use the small ring and the large ring on my crank. This is the compromise because the other problems I was having is that I couldn't get into my small ring AT ALL (this makes climbing really tough), and the problem before that was that I was dropping my chain every time I shifted. This makes my bike rides somewhat unpleasant.

The problem is that I can't in good conscience sell my tri bike knowing that it doesn't shift properly. Turns out that my bike is not designed for a triple crank (seat tube angle is too large and the frame is too small) so my options are to either switch to road levers or to change out the crank yet again (I went from a Sora triple to an Ultegra before we realized the problem with the sizing). Ugh!

So we go to Jeff's store and he wants me to try out the Orbea so I can try out to see how I like the road brake lever style shifters. Jeff is such a good salesman, he knew I would love that bike. And that I would find out how much more comfortable road bikes are. This bike was so much more comfortable (and lighter) than my tri bike! I didn't realize what I was missing!!! I LOVE the shifters, they are awesome. So the goal is to switch out the shifters and maybe sell the bike to someone who will ride the bike the way it was meant to be ridden.

So I've been looking at the Orbeas and I absolutely fell in love with this one, this blue is absolutely GORGEOUS! I see this bike in my future!!!

Plus I am buying Jeff a Felt F65 bike for his b-day (well, helping to buy the bike). Wouldn't they match nicely?