Back to being a Newbie

I have decided to drift into the world of cycling. I have contemplating “getting serious” about cycling for the past year or so largely because I lived in Austin for 4 years where everyone cycles and because I wanted an alternative workout when I wasn’t pounding the pavement. So after a lot of thought I finally decided to bite the bullet and actually go to a bike store. Yesterday I went to a bicycle shop in Orlando and decided to start my search process. The only thing I knew going in was that I wanted a road bike. Initially I thought I needed a Hybrid bike, but when I told a classmate about my intentions he told me that I would be better off with a road bike. The lady at the bike store, also agreed. One thing I realized about this process is that now I know what newbies to running feel like.

When I first walked into the store and started looking at bikes my mouth almost hit the floor. $2,400?!?! $1,700?!?! Hmm let me see if I can leave before someone notices that I even walked in. I knew bikes were expensive, and I was prepared to make a rather heft investment, but nothing over $1,000. As I continued looking the prices slowly began to drop. At about this time a young lady who worked in the store, Linny, greeted me and probably sensed my stickers shock and confusion. I told her what I was looking for she sized me up and told me I was a 51 or 52 (I assume this was my hip height, I’m not really sure. I probably should have asked but she looked like she knew what she was doing). She then pulled out a Jamis Ventura Compact for me to try out.

Option #1: Jamis Ventura Compact

I’m not a fan of the color but it was a comfortable height. So I got to test ride it for a lap in the parking lot. It rode nice and the drop handlebar wasn’t as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm came rolling through so my trial was cut short. While inside she then gave me some catalogs of other bikes that would probably also suit me well. One of them was a Langster and the other was a Specialized Allez Compact. I really liked how the Allez looked and wanted to try it out, but since they did not have it in stock yet, they were able to order one for me, and I wouldn’t have to put anything down since they could just sell it if I didn’t like it.

Specialized Allez Compact

Doesn’t it look so fast and chic? I know looks aren’t that important, but they are. While Linny was showing me all of the different bikes, she went into full on cyclist mode. It was like she was talking a different language. As much as I wanted, desperately to understand what she was talking about I instead just had the deer in the headlights look. What I did understand what that it was a good bike for those just beginning the sport. Great. That’s all I needed to know.

After I left I was telling my parents about how expensive bikes are. They asked me why I didn’t just get a mountain bike or if I could have it covered on my insurance plan haha. Yes I could start with just a mountain bike, but ideally I would rather start off with a road bike. Here’s why. If I were to start off with a mountain bike and then decided to get more serious about cycling, most likely I would have to get a bike upgrade. Also, I’ve been eye-sypying some triathlon and duathlon events. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here but I’ve been taking swim lessons (swim review since I already know how to swim but it’s been a while) to step up my swimming game and get an impact free workout for those days when I don’t want to run or it’s just to hot to run. Not only that, but now I have another mode of transportation to work and other places :). Nothing better than saving a little gas, the environment, and your waistline.

So now I wait for my second bike option to arrive so that I can make a decision. I’m really excited I even put some bike shorts and gloves in my Amazon shopping cart for when I’m ready to order them. I may not start out riding like a pro, but I may as well try and look like one.

~T

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