And then my nice little world turned upside down.

DSC00133

Here’s the deal.
This week I have been dog sitting and the owner, knowing that I was looking to buy a road bike, kindly offered me the use of her hybrid while she was away.

Did you know that there is a huge difference between riding on a mountain bike with studded tires and using a hybrid with nice gears?

Huge, huge difference.
I’ve had studded tires on my bike since the middle of November. I forgot how quiet and smooth biking can be without them.

Late this morning, I was biking back home after visiting my nieces and nephews. A gentle breeze was blowing, the sun was out and the air was warm.

Then it happened.

All of a sudden I realized I was going fast. So I started going even faster. I tore up the road with all the exuberance of a winter biker gone rogue. No studded tires, no limited gears holding me back. The hybrid had a speedometer and I kept glancing at it, unbelieving.
Is this speed for real?
Is the power I feel in my legs for real?

For twelve miles I went faster on a bike then I ever have in my life.

Fire lit.

I have passed the point of no return. I am in.

I need a road bike and I need it now.

Advertisements

49 thoughts on “And then my nice little world turned upside down.

    • But if it gets better than this how am I ever going to survive emotionally?

      I cried after I got home, I felt so insanely good. And then started frantically searching the web to find a road bike.

      Like

  1. Decide on a budget first. That’s key. You can spend anywhere from $500 – $10,000 on a road bike. I would suggest you start with a low end bike that you like. You can always trade up or upgrade the bike as you become more proficient. One of my bikes is 35 years old. Over the years I have continually upgraded it. Last year I put a $1,500 group on it and it rides like the wind.

    Go slow and, you will go fast 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks for the advice, I need it in my emotionally unstable state 🙂

      My philosophy is that I have my whole life to buy bikes, so starting off, like you said, with a decent but low end bike and moving up from there, if I feel the need to, seems like the way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My dad put road tires on my bike last year as a birthday present and they made a huge difference until winter necessitated their removal.

      The gears on my bike are really bad for road biking though so my plan this year is to replace the studded tires with MTB tires and then get myself a road bike so I can have both worlds 🙂

      Like

      • That reminds me that during my childhood I had a road bike for going to school on, and BMX for playing out on… fun times. In later years when I bought a new road bike I thought about keeping two, so the new one wouldn’t get so badly treated in the worst weather… but a few weeks of riding my new bike I couldn’t physically ride my old one any more due to it being a smaller bike and different frame geometry – it had actually become painful to ride when I tried again. Weird.

        Like

  2. Bri Your last comment is accurate. Our MTB cassettes and chainrings are made for climbing. So even putting a 700x38c on you will go faster but not as fast a hybrid or a road bike. One thing to consider before going full roadie is that most require a less upright posture. When I was picking out my Trek, I rode the 1.1 http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/performance_race/1_series/1_1_h2_compact/ as I was choosing my bike and actually took the 7.4 FX home http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/fitness/fx/7_4_fx/#
    but returned it the next day because the tires are just too skinny for me.

    Like

      • Thanks for sharing from your own experience, Mark!
        The truth is I don’t really know if a road bike is “my type” as I have only rode one once on a trainer, but I am gonna find out 😉

        The only annoying thing about riding the hybrid today was the fact that I had to sit upright. Even on my MTB I can lean forward a bit. So hopefully a road bike will suit me in that respect, we’ll see!

        Like

  3. Bri, welcome to the club! Add another 1-1/2 – 2 mph with a road bike. Speed rocks! Woohoo! Wait till your first 50 mph descent – I had a smile stuck to my face for two weeks. Don’t worry about the cost of the bikes. Just try to refrain from jumping too fast – take the time to make sure it’s the right size for you… Google “bike size calculator” put in your pertinent info… If you want to ride upright, go with the size it recommends. If you want to ride low (it’s not uncomfortable for everyone, I’m happier lower), go one size smaller. For example, I’m a 58-59 cm by the calculator. My venge is a 56 and super low.

    Like

    • 50 mph! I can’t even wrap my mind around how that would feel.

      When I was at the bike shop the other day, they put me on a 48cm bike which felt really comfortable even though the calculators online put me at 50cm. I think (not that I really know because I have only been on a road bike once) that I will want to ride somewhat low. I don’t like riding completely upright, even on my current bike.

      I will try to be patient and find the right bike, but I am just itching to get out there with a decent road bike. Life is so rough 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • 50 is all in the bike. I get up to 45 on my Trek and I’m nervous. 55 on my Venge is smooth and fun. If you riding lower, you’re on the right path. While you’re waiting for the right bike, just work on the engine – you’ll be that much faster when you finally get it. Too cool Bri.

        Like

      • Yup, I still have a long ways to go with regard to my engine. A fast bike isn’t any good if I have slow legs! So much work to do, but after yesterday, I am stoked.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I know exactly what you mean. When I started riding last year, I was using my 1996 steel frame mountain bike, When I took a new road bike out for a test drive…. WOW!

    Like

      • I did go to one recently and they let me try out a bike, but on a trainer. Is that typical or do some stores let you actually ride outside with their bikes?

        Like

      • The store I went to handed me the bike and said see you when you get back. I asked if they wanted my driver’s licence or something…they just said see you later.
        They let one guy take a mountain bike for the weekend.
        I suspect that at busier times they might want a copy of some identification, but who knows.
        A trainer is good, but you’ve got to feel how the bike takes bumps and how it turns. When I got on my bike that I eventually bought the first time, I was shocked at how easily it turned. I put a small fraction of weight down and the biked zipped across a wide street. It was awesome.

        Like

      • You will. That will become known to you as “the good bike store.” I found mine when the owner talked to me for about 2 hours without pressuring me to by a bike.
        He said he was happy to give me the information.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember upgrading from a mountain bike to a proper road bike. I just went for a little spin to try it out but it was AMAZING how much faster it was. I’m a mountain biker through and through, but I sure like the feeling of going fast on my road bike. 😀

    Like

  6. This is another off-the-wall idea for you. There is a site (spinlister.com http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/peddling-pedaling-bikes-become-the-latest-peer-to-peer-success-story/) where regular folk rent out their bikes. Everyone does it differently. Some rent by the hour and some by the day, even by the year. You can go there and see if there’s anything local, rent different bikes and see what you like. Others have mentioned just riding bikes from your local shop. MOST let you go out on the road instead of trainers. Craigslist is another good source. You better know what you’re looking for there, but you can go look at local bikes and try them first too. Schwinns are often seen on there. Schwinn makes bikes for the walmarts of the world and then for bike shops. The walmart/target ones are junk so that’s an issue buying that brand from private owners. just some thoughts. You’re fixin’ to fall even more in love with riding with this! It’ll move from obsession to OBSESSION!

    Like

  7. Be careful. I now have 6 bikes. A road bike, a steel frame commuter/touring bike, a mountain bike, two cyclocross bikes (1 for racing and 1 for the bike trainer) and a time trial bike. I still want a fat bike, but I could probably wait for that…

    Like

      • Aw, don’t be scared. Just remember three things: fit, fit, and fit. Take as many test rides as you can and don’t settle for a bike that fast, light, “cool”, cheap, “maybe just a little big”, etc. Find the one that feels like “your bike”. Also make sure it has all the attachment points “braze-ons” for things you might want to add to it, like fenders, a rack, etc… Don’t worry, you can still go fast even with a rack, fenders and giant panniers; I get it to 40-ish on a couple of descents just on my way to work and back. I’ve also hit 50 once. Once.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s