A week or so back I finally took the plunge and bought a nice road bike. I had been kicking around the idea for some time, but never got serious about it until recently, and one Saturday I decided to go shopping for my new ride. I came home with the bike pictured here, a 2009 Specialized Allez, and so far it’s been a dream to ride.
I use to ride a road bike all the time, but six or eight years back a bought a mountain bike, and started riding it instead. I love hitting a trail, and getting away from everything for a ride that can be equal parts physically and technically challenging. It was such a change from the road bike and I loved that I was able to go places on a bike that I’d never been able to go before. But over time I began to miss the open road as well. The speed of a nice road bike is hard to match, and while I didn’t miss the dealing with traffic, I couldn’t help but think about the joys of cycling and the challenges that come along with it.
Recently I decided I could no longer ignore the siren song of the open road. Living in Austin, Texas there are some really great places to ride. There are some really nice winding country roads and of course the Texas Hill Country is right out my back door. Plus, I can pretty much ride year round here, which made it all the more appealing.
We have a number of really great bike shops here in Austin, including one owned by Lance Armstrong. I visited a number of shops when I went searching for my bike, but ended up buying from the Bicycle Sports Shop, where they helped me pick out the right bike for me, and fit it to my body. Their service was great, and it wasn’t long before I was out the door with my shiny new bike, decked out with a couple of water bottle cages, a tire repair kit, mounted pump, and a nifty cycling computer.
Since then, I’ve put about 75 miles on the bike already, and I’ve been loving the open road once more. The bike is fast, easy to ride, and very responsive, making it everything I could have hoped for. I’ve even gotten use to my large rear-end sitting on that tiny little seat already, meaning that my rides have continued to get longer and longer each time I head out. Make no mistake, I’m not getting rid of my mountain bike, as the two different styles compliment each other well and have different things to offer, but the exhilaration and sense of speed has been a welcome change.
So why did I pull the trigger on a new bike now? Well, today is my 39th birthday, and I’ve set a goal for myself. Before I reach 40, I want to compete in a triathlon. That gives me a year to train and get ready, which seems like plenty of time. I already run regularly, and my rides are getting longer and faster too. I’ll have to focus on the swimming of course, but for now I’m working on cycling and running first, mostly alternating days on the bike and days on my feet. If everything goes according to play, I hope to enter my first race in the Spring, so from time to time I’ll probably post training updates and info on the race I choose, and so on. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and it should be fun as well. I have no illusions of winning a tri, but it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. No time like the present to get started! 🙂
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