Friday, April 5, 2013

My New Bike

If you saw my workout schedule on Monday, you may remember that I planned on riding my bike this week.  Well to ride a bike you have to own a bike and I do now!  After my last doctor’s appointment for my knee, I was a little disappointed.  The doctor stated that I really needed to run 5 times a week to be able to run a half without causing issues like my IT band problem.  Unfortunately with my back, I can’t run that many days in a row.  I can handle 3 times a week but 5 times not going to happen without me being in a ton of pain.  So I was pretty upset with the fact that I would not be able to run long distances.  I knew running 3-6 miles was not enough exercise for my body so I wanted to step it up a notch. 
I started deciding what I was going to do.  That’s when my husband suggested triathlons.  I thought he was nuts and I thought triathlons were long distances for running, swimming, and biking.  But then I learned there are sprint triathlons.  A sprint triathlon is a short distance triathlon.  Typically, you swim 750 meters, bike 20-K, and run a 5K.  I started reading more about them and looking for races near my location.  I have found several in the area but wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle it. 
So I started riding a stationary bike at the gym and liked that.  This made me think I probably would like riding outside more.  I then started doing a lot of bike research.  I am still no expert, but I felt pretty good about everything.  Plus, my husband started researching as well.  We then went to three different local bike shops to get a feel for everything and suggestions.
The first stop was Richardson Bike Mart.  My husband and I came into the shop not knowing much about bikes but hoping to have great customer service and learn more about bikes.  Let’s just way we met that goal.  The sales person was knowledgeable and very friendly.  He guessed by height pretty accurately and told me that I would need a 54cm bike.  He showed us several different models and told us that the Specialized Allez Compact would be a great bike for me.  I took it for a spin in the parking lot but did not feel super comfortable on the bike.  I felt very wobbly and had issues turning.  I took that for not being on a bike like that ever in my life time.  The sales person suggested I rent a bike to see if I would enjoy it.  My husband and I liked that idea.
The next stop was Plano Cycling and Fitness. We decided to go to another place to see what they suggested and see if I found a bike I liked more.  The sales person was very helpful.  The first thing he suggested was a women’s bike.  He said that even though I am tall and have the size to ride a man’s bike like the Allez, I would likely feel more comfortable on a women’s bike.  He did an electronic measurement of my body to determine the bike size I would need.  He too said I would need a 54cm bike.  He suggested the Specialized Dolce Compact the shop did not have the entry level bike in my size so I test road the next level up in the Specialized Dolce.  As soon as I started riding, I could already tell the difference between the Allez and the Dolce.  I felt more comfortable on the bike but still wasn’t completely sure.  I still had problems with my steering.  We left the shop happy with the store and suggestions.
The last stop was the Bike Mart in Frisco.  The shop is super close to our house and had a great selection.  Our sales person was also very knowledgeable.  He too suggested a women’s bike and said I would need a 54cm bike.  He showed us Specialized bikes as well as Trek Bikes.  He stated the Trek would be a great entry level bike and they had a Trek Lexa Sport on sale.  The bike was a step up from the entry level bike which means it has a carbon fiber fork which will help wen riding on not smooth surfaces.  I immediately liked the price of the bike since I was getting a better bike for my money, but I still wanted to give it a test ride.  So I took it for a spin in the parking lot.  I immediately felt better.  I could steer better and I felt more confident.  The salesperson said that I could steer better because the Trek bikes have a shorter top tube than the Specialized brand.  I took the bike for another loop and knew I really wanted it.  My husband and I asked the salesperson to put the bike on hold while we went to lunch to discuss the bike.  We did our research at lunch to make sure we were getting a good deal and decided to buy it.  We returned to the store and added a water cage, computer to help keep track of cadence and mph, and a helmet.  I decided to pass on bike shorts and shoes until I became use to the bike. 
I took the bike home and took some laps on it while basketball was at half time.  I realized then I should have bought bike shorts.  My butt was killing me!  The weather has been terrible this week but I am looking forward to breaking in my new bike and training for my first sprint triathlon!

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