Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh what a difference the bike makes.....

Triathlon photographs from the Chinook-Half-Ir...Image via Wikipedia
By: Brent

In week 2 of marathon training I have been struck with a problem. I can't get biking out of my head. It's ridiculous. 2 wheels and pedal pedal pedal. But, alas, I can't shake it. I blame only one person. Jeff. No one else. Just Jeff. This week I had that hankering that I needed to go for a ride. I was calling it "cross training" but it was really a case of wanting to ride more than run. If I drove home at lunch I could grab a sandwich and ride my bike from home to work and then after work ride back home. It's a 7 3/4 mile trip that is mostly country roads and the bit of 4 lane that I am on has a great shoulder to ride on so its not an issue. There was going to be only one (1) problem. NO BIKE!

Sooooo, with that issue now being addressed I drove over to Jeff's and borrowed one of the bike's we still have in our possession from the "Epic Ride of 2009". (ed.- story coming soon on the Epic Ride '09) The bike grabbed was a Raleigh Sport. It is a nice bike. Not a mind blowing bike, but a great entry level starter bike. Aluminum frame. Very adjustable. Attractive look. Between Jeff and I we have now logged some decent miles on this bike. I got it prepped Tuesday night and ready to ride for Wednesday.

The day arrived. As dumb as it sounds, it may have been the thing I was most excited about all day. Getting the Wind in my hair, well, goatee, and to just be outside in the sunshine. I won't lie, it was brisk 18 degrees and the snow was still spotty on the country roads, but I was going out no matter what. Then I got pedaling. "Why is this so stinkin' hard!?!?!" Jeff and I rode in 30 degree weather with winds steady at 20+ mph and I felt great. Whats the difference!?!!

The Bike. But not what bike, rather what style of bike. Beneath me was a road bike. Not a race bike but a bike that would generally be referred to as a "Comfort Road" bike. This meaning that you will sit on it in a way to make riding more comfortable. It will reduce some of the discomforts that you would experience on a true race style road bike, Tour de Whatever style. The bike that I rode for the "Epic 09" was a 2006 FELT S32. This is a true Triathlon bike. So whats the difference (I hope) you ask? I'm glad you asked. As a triathlete is mid race and his legs just got done swimming, now they are on the bike and the legs are going in circles, now the athlete is thinking "I have to start thinking about running". Let me tell you, if you hop off a normal "Road Bike" and start running you are going to look and feel like you just got off a mechanical bull. A Tri Bike is designed so your legs are in a position that they use your running muscles. The bike practically warms you up so when you hop off the bike and start your run, you are ready to go. After a solid 20 mile ride on the Tribike, i ran a 3 miler with no adjustment or warming up needed. After the 15 (combined) mile ride Wednesday, i was ready for a nap.

So that's it!!! You're buying a bike and now because some numb skull said that I will feel better on a Tribike, that is what I, the bike buyer will buy!!!! NOPE! Buy what you are comfortable on. I am a runner. Not a casual one but a regular runner. To me, I find myself comfortable in the saddle of a lot of bikes, but for ME the Tribike was the best thing I have ridden. YOU may have been as uncomfortable and unimpressed as you have ever felt in your life.

So what does this tell you? You can't buy a bike from your computer desk chair. You must stand up and go try them on. Get out there people. Do something. Join the parade! Get fit.
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