Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Specialized Experience

About six years ago, I bought a bike.  I didn't have a whole lot of disposable income, so I opted for a $300 hybrid -- a 2006 Diamondback Edgewood, to be exact.  It's been a good bike, but it's had some issues, particularly with the seat and the handlebars.

However, I am proud to say that I fixed the seat issue yesterday all. by. myself.

Within the last several years, both my mom and my brother have become avid cyclists, and both have road bikes.  A few of my friends also have road bikes, and keeping up with them on a bulky hybrid is quite difficult.  I decided that I really wanted a road bike, but I really didn't want to spend the $1,000 for one.

When my good friend and close colleague Linds said that she was getting a new road bike, I asked if I could buy her old one.  She said no -- she would just give it to me.

Yeah.  I couldn't believe it either.

I picked up the bike from Linds' house a couple of months ago, and it's just been sitting in my basement since I was too afraid to take it to a shop for fear of how much it would cost to fix.  After all, it's quite old, and Linds thought it needed a lot of work.

Well, I finally took it to the shop last week and picked it up yesterday.  They did a tune up, put a new tube in the back tire, installed a new front tire, gave me new pedals, hooked me up with shoes and cleats, threw in a water bottle, rewrapped the handlebars, discarded the aero bars that were duct-taped on, and cleaned it up all nice and pretty.

So, for less than $300, I have a like-new Specialized (I think it's an M2 Road Pro), and I could not be more excited.

I have had to figure out a few things with this new bike, though.  For instance, I could not for the life of me figure out how to shift gears.  Thankfully, Wikipedia proved to be an excellent resource.

The biggest thing I had to figure out, however, was how to clip in and out of the pedals.  The technician at Rasmussen's taught me how to do it, and then he advised that I head home and center myself in a door frame to practice.  I did that, but wow: that was tough.  I decided it might be easier to just head out to the parking lot and give it a go there.

And you know what?  It worked!  I can clip in and out with no problem.

Granted, I'll probably biff it in the middle of an intersection tomorrow, but whatev.  At least I think I'm good-to-go for now!

The bike will definitely take some getting used to (the body position while riding is so much different than what I'm used to), but I am so excited to take it for some rides this week.

Anyone up for heading down to the Cumming Tap on the Fourth of July?  You know you want to!

Any advice you can offer about "for real" cycling?  What is the number one piece of equipment that you can't live without?

I, for one, am thinking I'm going to need some padded shorts for this itty-bitty seat.

But that'll be a purchase for another day!


  1. After bike shorts and gloves, you NEED sunglasses! I found that out the first time I rode through a cloud of gnats. And I'm talking wrap-arounds, not cute fashion ones. You can get some with interchangeable lenses for when it's overcast, or you can be like me and have two cheap pairs.

  2. I've had a road bike for a couple of years. I have been too much of a wuss to ever "clip in". I'd love to hear how your experience has been.