Let's Talk Tri Part 2: Biking

Updated: Dec 24, 2019

Biking is pretty obvious. Who didn't ride a bike as a kid? I did and I loved it. I know looking for a bike when you are getting into triathlons seems like a daunting tasks, but here are some things that will make it easier for you. When I became interested in triathlons, searching for a bike was a daunting task. I didn't work at a bike shop at the time, and had no clue what I was even looking at. Some bike shops showed me an expensive bike and tried to explain the components and other aspects of the bike that make it so expensive. The salesperson may as well have been speaking ancient Egyptian. I was asking my husband why the bike didn't have pedals. Looking for your first bike shop bike? Check out my blog about buying a bike here https://www.swimbikeruntheplanet.com/post/how-to-navigate-bike-shopping

After shopping around, I decided on an Aluminum Scott Speedster bike from a local bike shop. It was my first road bike and I swore it flew like the wind. Little did I know at the time how much a bike could truly fly, but I would.

This bike had some great adventures. It was the first bike I did a triathlon on. I learned to clip in on it, which I swore I would never do. I told my husband I wasn't going to get that serious about it, and what if I fell? I wouldn't be able to get my feet out.

I learned what a cassette was. The cassette is the back set of cogs on the bike. I had just started working at a bike shop, and was complaining to my boss that I always felt like I was in too easy a gear or too hard of a gear. I learned about different cassette sizes which are measured by teeth, which are how many points are on the biggest and the smallest cog of your cassette. I switched out my cassette and my speed immediately jumped up on my next ride.

I had started to fall in love with cycling and was dying to try a carbon bike, but I wanted to be faster and be a better cyclist and feel like I deserved the upgrade. Little did I know, about a year after I worked at the bike shop, I was going to get very lucky.

One day, I walked in and saw a silver Trek Madone leaning against the counter. I asked my coworker who's bike it was. He informed me it was a trade in and that the person didn't want a road bike any more. I looked at the sizing, and it was my size. I took it for a test ride and decided it was mine. Due to it being a trade in, it was well within my budget for a bike.

Two days later was my first day off since I had bought the bike. My husband and I headed out to one of the local trails. I rode my new to me carbon bike for the first time. I felt like I was gliding. It was fast and smooth. I accidentally left my husband behind because he was pedaling hard but his bike just wouldn't keep up.

I fell in love with cycling even more. This bike had a whole new set of adventures. The biggest adventure was learning to climb hills. My now friend/coach/training partner, Matt, had decided to invite himself on my ride one evening after work. Even though I begged and pleaded for him not to. I told him he didn't want to ride with me, because I was slow. He didn't care and came anyways.

Soon after we were riding together on a regular basis. He started telling me I needed to learn to climb hills. I told him he didn't understand and my short legs were not designed for hill climbing. They were designed for flat bike courses. He didn't care and told me we were going to go ride hills. Now some of you are thinking if you are that bad at climbing, just walk. He wouldn't allow me to make forward progress unless I was pedaling. There was a lot of whining my first few hill rides, but soon they were not as terrible as I thought they were. I started to consider doing triathlons that had a bike course that wasn't flat as a pancake. As hard as the hills were, I started to like it and look forward to them instead of dread them. In 2017, I put more miles than I could have ever imagined on the bike.

At the end of 2017, I got the surprise of my life. My husband told me I could order a new Trek Madone to my specifications off of Trek's Project One website for my Christmas(and a few anniversaries and birthdays) present https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/project-one/

I used a custom Project one color from Trek because I liked the design so much. I upgraded to carbon wheels, and added ETAP, SRAMS electronic shifting. I also added a Quarq Dzero Power Meter and carbon pedals. All I can say is wow. I get on this bike and smile. It just goes. Currently, it is my triathlon and training bike. I am still working on becoming a better cyclist. Each race is an adventure with this bike. There are some races, I have gone too hard and bonked on the run, and others where things have gone perfect. Currently, I am saving my pennies for my n+1 or its sister, a Project One Trek Speed Concept.

Contact us: Swimbikeruntheplanet@gmail.com

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