After my 9.5 mile ride on my mountain bike yesterday, I decided that I needed to restart my quest for a road bike. I am not one who likes to accumulate things without using them, so I have hemmed and hawed about getting a road bike especially when I have a perfectly good mountain bike. But, yesterday, for some reason, I just hit the end of using my mountain bike for road riding. Maybe it was window that made me feel like I was working even harder than I needed to. Maybe it was all the people on road bikes who were going as fast as I was but seemed to be exerting very little effort compared to me.
I should point out that I am a person who rarely makes an impulse buy. My digital SLR was a decision that took me a long time to make. I knew the model I would buy, but I just couldn’t do it. The purchase seemed too extravagant. Garbanzo finally gave me an ultimatum – either I buy it or he was going to buy it for me. He knew I would keep it forever and be much happier than with a point and shoot digital. He knows me too well.
The bike was the same way, sans ultimatum. I had been looking for a used road bike for a while, but finally gave up when realizing that I’m short which means I have to find someone equally as short as I am who is selling it. The existed, but the ones that were being sold would need a lot of upgrades to get them to be road ready.
We have been members of REI for a long time, so I decided to go there for my bike. They have knowledgeable people and the claim that they do not sell low end, crap bikes. The fact they have a pretty good return & customer satisfaction policy helps reassure me a bit more. Plus, as a member, you get 10% back on purchases at the end of the year. I found a bike my size which fit my budget, and let the guy talk me into clipless pedals (wasn’t much of a pitch really – I knew I would be buying them).
We went out on a family ride today. Garbanzo wanted to see how the kids would do on the street going long distances – and I wanted to try out the new bike. The kids are way too slow right now, so we stopped at a park (read Garbanzo’s account here and here) – and I asked if I could go on. I hadn’t really gotten anything out of the ride so far other than practicing getting clicked into my pedals and getting out of them. Important, but I wanted to feel the difference of riding this bike compared to the other one.
Before the ride, I had sent this picture to Hubman knowing he was a cyclist – knowing he would appreciated the purchase (and my humor that went along with it). When I hit the point on the ride where I was going to turn around, he had messaged me back – and we exchanged a couple of messages. I had lamented the fact I had to get used to the clipless pedals – and he reassured me that I would fall over because I couldn’t get un-clicked from the pedals like everyone does when learning (except him, of course). I made some smart ass comment back, then started my ride back to Garbanzo and the kids.
Garbanzo had suggested I bike to a park. The park is down under the bridge, so I knew it would have a pretty good hill climb. I started up the hill and quickly realized I was in the wrong gear. I tried to quickly shift to the right gear, then admitted to myself that I just needed to stop. I wasn’t going to get it into the right gear, and I wasn’t going fast enough to give myself time. I tried to get unclicked. And couldn’t. And realized I was going to fall over – and could do nothing about it.
The good news is that this happened without witnesses to laugh at me. The bad news is that I had landed in such a way that it took me a minute to shift around so I could detach myself from the bike. And, I had to go catch my water bottle which was now rolling down the hill.
I now have a pretty good scrapped knee – and I look forward to seeing the bruise that forms on my hip. Hubman reassures me that I will do this again – after I get used to the clipless pedals. And, when it happens, it will happen in front of people at a stop sign….or at least, that’s what he’s heard. Something to look forward to, I guess.