Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bike Evolution

The bike I used for my first two triathlons was the bike my daughter had in middle school -- 3-speed, coaster brakes. Then I graduated to a hybrid with more gears, hand brakes, and toe clips. It also was heavy as sin, and I soon upgraded to a road bike that weighed much less. My bike times were faster, but I still wasn't getting the results I'd hoped for. In early 2007, I bought a Specialized Dolce Elite because it was a women's specific model and was on sale. I added aerobars and clipless pedals and felt like a pro at indoor cycling. Then I took it on the road. I never mastered unclipping without falling, and finally just decided to ride with only my right foot clipped in, but by November I was feeling more comfortable overall with the bike and was seeing some slight improvement in my times. In anticipation of the 2008 season, I had a bike fit with a physical therapist, who suggested a shorter stem and different handlebars to alleviate cramping/numbness in my hands. So, I've made those changes, and again, I'm a whiz indoors on a trainer. The real test will come in March, however, when I do my first sprint. As someone once told me, a bike goes only as fast as the person riding it can pedal.

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