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Riding with the wind in my face

I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a bike for the last many months, even before I wanted to do triathlons. I thought that indoor cycles and spinning would be enough, but I really like the outdoors. For a homebody, I can sometimes be a bit of a wanderer. I subscribed to Bicycling Magazine to get industry information and have been biding my time. I didn’t want to invest money for it to sit in my garage or basement. Well, I finally made the decision today to invest in a bike and continue my quest to eventually do a triathlon.

I woke up to another hot and humid Sunday morning. It was an awful day for a run, but a great day to bike. Only problem is I don’t have a bike. Hmmm…what to do? I’ve been budgeting for the purchase so I figured I go and check out some bikes to get an idea of what I wanted and price ranges.

I met Andrew and Ben — two wonderful guys from Race Pace Bicycles — at the Celebrating Heroes triathlon expo last month. They had comprehensive information and it was a no pressure situation. Great industry knowledge — great customer service…my kind of people. I decided then that their store would be the perfect place for me to buy my bike. My decision was 100% spot on.

I went there this afternoon. They have an enormous showroom full of bikes, accessories, clothing, shoes, supplements — everything I could possible need. The store was busy, but they had enough staff that the wait wasn’t long at all. Andrew and Ben (who was also working today) remembered me. I guess a woman that works out in a knee length skirt is kinda unforgettable (tee-hee).

I previously rode for years. It was no big deal for me to ride 40-50 miles (granted I was younger and in better shape). I have a pretty good idea of what I needed (I have long legs, a short torso and I wear a skirt). I know I didn’t need or want to spend a lot of money and wanted to stay in a certain price range. I also wanted a bike that I can ride on roads and in triathlons. Turns out that my homework was actually helpful so Andrew knew exactly where to start. He helped me through the entire process and even offered to hold my purse so I could test one of the bikes. 😀

Anyway, turns out the store was having a sale (SCORE). I originally was just going to purchase bike shoes that I can spin in and a couple of other items today and think about the bike. However, the bike (the Trek Lexa C) I wanted was a great price and the sale only goes through next Sunday. She who snoozes loses. Turns out that as soon as I got off “my” bike someone else decided on it. Andrew was awesome and called another store. It’ll be delivered there on Monday. I’ve already picked out shoes and pedals, so we went to select a new saddle and helmet. Only thing left to get is a car rack, lock, and capris.

In the meantime, I got to test drive a similar model. I haven’t been on a bike since 2002 (I thought it was 1992, but forgot that I kept riding for another 10 years). Anyway, I was a bit wobbly, but it was like (sorry for the cliche) riding a bike [OK I couldn’t resist that one]. Granted it wasn’t “my” bike and it wasn’t fitted for me personally, however just that quick I remembered what it was like to be riding with the wind in my face. I returned to the store with the biggest grin on my face. I love speed and I can’t wait to get back to it. Right now I may be the rider I used to be only in my head, but that’s not a bad place to start.

I’m planning to leave work early on Tuesday to do the bike fitting and to take it for a test drive at Centennial Park. I hope it’s the right bike. I think we were going to choose a smaller frame, but in the excitement of trying to find one at a different store, it may have to be re-ordered. Small potatoes compared to the excitement of getting my new bike.

Standing in the store today I remembered all my great biking memories. Times like being little and going to the Schwinn store in Wheaton to pick up my green bike with my mom. I remember going back years later to get a 3-speed bike as I had outgrown the other one; and eventually getting my sister’s hand me down 10 speed. I remembered picking out a men’s bike at the Sears store in White Oak and biking all over town. I remembered starting in Silver Spring and biking to Kennedy High School to play tennis or from Silver Spring to the National Zoo and then runing hills; or biking with friends to National Airport and back. My brother, cousins and I biked every where from our houses all over Silgo Creek Park or to my cousins’ grandparent’s house so we could go swimming. Biking was our only transportation until we started to drive. Lots of happy memories.

So right now I’m relishing all of my happy memories and I’m doing the happy dance cause “I’m getting a bike, I’m getting a bike!” Wah-Hoo!

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