I’ve had a bike that I’ve ridden on a regular basis for over three years. It’s a sweet little Virtue 7, shiny black with a rear rack suitable for last minute runs to the store for mimosa fixings. I named her Gertrude. She’s a good bike that has faithfully transported me to Belmont Shore for sushi and beers with only a slight struggle back up the hill to Belmont Heights.
Taking up indoor cycling at my gym peeked my interest in finding a bike that could provide a little more speed, even a little bit more excitement. Regularly watching road races through the magic of the internet increased the pull to road cycling. My significant other rides on a regular basis and had been not so subtly saying how nice it would be if I also wanted to take up cycling as a hobby. “We’d get to go on cool rides! We stop for coffees and beers! You love coffees and beers! I’ll make you breakfast in the morning!”
So I started reading blogs. And reviews. And occasionally going into the local bike shop and feeling the handlebars and pressing the break levers on the display bikes. “Hey let me know when you’re ready to test ride one,” the shop owner would say. A little more reading, a little more Classics tour race watching, and I was suddenly overcome with an absolute NEED for a road bike. It had to be light, it had to be fast, and preferably it wouldn’t be too pink. Frankly, it had to be a bike I’d have to grow into as a cyclist because I wasn’t the type to buy an entry level bike, get hooked, and in six months want a faster bike.
So one faithful Saturday morning, I went back to the bike shop, ready to pick a bike. Turns out they didn’t have many women’s bikes in stock. Like, they had two bikes in stock; one that was too large for me, and one that was far too small. “It’s okay, we’ll get you on a men’s bike, find the right kind of geometry that works for you, and order you the women’s bike that’s the closest equivalent.” I got on the first road bike suggest and….kind of hated it? It wasn’t a comfortable feel. My shoulder blades felt weirdly uncomfortable. I felt like I was in the middle of a Cat/Cow stretch in a Yoga class. “Woah, if this is a road bike, I kind of don’t want one,” I thought. Went around the block and headed back. A few test rides later and I found it.
I found my bike. HERE WAS THE BIKE FOR ME! The handlebars fit perfectly. The position in the drops was stellar. It instantly felt right. And that’s how I became the proud owner of the above pictured 2017 Giant TCR Advanced 2. It’s not a women’s bike, but it fits so well. It’s aggressive and quick and if I do say so myself, kind of a sexy bike. Reddit users seem to always say “buy a bike you want to look at and touch, it’ll make you want to ride it.” ABSOLUTELY TRUE!
So welcome to my blog which will chronicle my entrance into road cycling. First road bike, first time trying to figure out bib shorts, and I’m sure at least one fall when I forget to unclip my shoe at a stop.