|A cycling story (Very Long)||MSA|
May 13, 2002 10:05 AM
|I started riding last August, just to try and lose some weight. It was my wife's idea, she thought we could do it together. I bought a Cannondale C-400 comfort bike.kind of a cross between an MTB and a beach cruiser, and started riding along a local bike path. A funny thing happened.the more I rode, the better I felt. I was 5'10" tall and weighed 230lbs.and even though I am naturally stocky in shape, this was way over the limit. So I started to ride, and ride, and ride, and ride; and the more I rode, the more weight I lost and the better I felt.
I was in a LBS and they had Univega road bikes with Campy Daytona(Centaur) 10 speeds on sale for $900. So I bought one. And now I really started to ride and ride and ride, but then the bike path was too crowded, especially since now instead of 12-15 MPH, I was going 17 18 MPH!!!! Too fast now, I gotta move up and out. So I called a buddy who I knew was a rider, and asked him to take me out to where all the clubs ride on the weekend, a place called West Oaks. So we rode and we rode and we rode. And I thought I was doing great. But then I met The Group.you know the guys that ride together and drop you like yesterday's newspaper if you "are not worthy" ... the guys that average between 22-25 mph on their training rides. Oh baby, I had to get into that pace line.but how? What would it take? I thought and I pondered and then it hit me.they all had awesome bikes.that was my problem. Obviously what I needed was..a new bike!
So as I was goofing off on the internet, I came across one of those companies that can sell you a perfectly fitted bike.all you have to do is provide them your measurements, and I thought. "How hard can that be?" So I took my measurements, and ordered my bike.
Guess what.Did you know that fractions of an inch make a big difference in fitting a bicycle? So I had a frame that was 2cm too small for about 2 months, until I sold it in the classifieds here and bought the correct frame size.
Finally I had my dream bike and I was ready to take it out to West Oaks and ride with the big boys. As the big day grew nearer, I became anxious with anticipation. We were to meet a 7am Saturday morning, so I stayed up til 11 pm Friday night getting things ready.
My wife of course had long ago realized that I had completely lost my mind, but make no mistake, tomorrow I was taking my new bike to ride with The Group.
The first thing I had to do was of course get my nutritional and hydration provisions ready. I got my hydration pack down from the shelf, put in the 100 oz bladder, and reached into the pocket for the bite valve..but wait, ..no bite valve..God in heaven, where is the bite valve, oh, no.oh, no. My wife sensing my panic asked what it looked like, and I told her it was a little plastic "thingy". She looked at me with fear and asked, was it blue?" Referring to it in the past tense did not bode well, so I feared the worst. Yes she had seen it.in a pile of my 8 month old terrier's exceta in the back yard. Well, no matter, I would use water bottles. I mixed the Gatorade and went to bed.
I awoke at 5 am.did not want to be late, you know. I went throught the check list. Bike,check.tires-filled to 110psi, check.flat repair kit, check.color coordinated helmet and gloves, check.Nutrition.clif bars?..clif bars?..bananas?.bananas?, yes we have no bananas OR clif bars? Oh, well, maybe I could pick them up at a convenience store on the way. I certainly would have the time.
So off to West Oaks I go, and sure enough, right at the turn off is a convenience store. I park, hop out of the car and run into the store, and all 5 people in the store stop what they are doing, turn, and stare at me with funny looks on their faces. It then occurs to me that I am wearing tight shorts and a loudly colored shirt and I am walking in funny shoes; all in all a little strange to the non-cycling public at large. Anyway, the ma