Wednesday, September 17, 2008
MY NEW RIDE!!
We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to bring you the latest news flash..........Carbon Orbea Diva, with full Dura-Ace components and Dura-Ace wheels, and compact gearing with a 12-28 in the back. (i.e. excellent gears for the big hills around here).
Can I brag for a moment??
After hemming and hawing about which new bike and which gearing I should get...I finally ordered my new bike a few weeks ago and I picked it up last Friday!
First, let me fess up. Some of you already know the story (desribed on Innercycling and my Facebook page), but around mid-summer I was returning from a bike ride with a personal training client (love those kind of training sessions), and was blabbing on my cell phone (about Spinning no less) as I pulled up to my house, pushed the garage door opener and proceeded to drive the car into the garage. Normally standard procedure...but with a bicycle on top of the car, it doesn't work too well. The bike went flying off the back, but not before dragging the dropouts of the fork along the roof of the car. That's not a good sound.
Now, when my husband did this same thing 7 years ago, his Giant bicycle exploded into 3 pieces and crumbled around the car. My Serotta, however, looked fine. There was no visible damage, and I thought I had been spared. When I took it for a ride the next day, there was a little catch in the headset as I turned. So I rode the 1/4 mile to my LBS, and upon closer inspection, Frank, the bike shop owner, showed me how the top tube was buckled where it met the headset, and the fork was splayed about 1/2" forward. We're talking barely visible. Being titanium, the frame was irreparable, and the carbon fork as well.
Thus began my search. The Serotta was almost 7 years old, and back then I paid a lot of money for it but never really loved it, if you know what I mean. But the replacement estimate floored me - I had no idea it was worth that much! My home owner's insurance covered all but $1,000, which still allowed me to get a brand spanking new kick-butt dream bicycle with top-of-the-line components (especially with the great deal Frank gave me)! Believe it or not, the Serotta was slated to be put on E-Bay the following week - I had only taken the photos the day before. In the meantime, I'd bought an interim very nice slightly used Orbea Onyx that would hold me over until could get the bike of my dreams next year. (As it turned out, it was a tiny bit too big for me).
Funny how the universe works! I'd been wondering this past year how to get a new bike! Jennifer Klau, a former Master Instructor for Spinning asked me if it was "intentional velo-cide", and I responded that it wasn't but that perhaps the subconscious did have something to do with it; maybe it was "involuntary velo-slaughter."
Well, here she is. She's the most beautiful shade of dark rosy pink, almost magenta, so I thought I'd wear my beautiful Spin Odyssey pink jersey on her maiden voyage.
My Serotta only had a 27 in back and I always longed for just one more gear (or two or three), and was almost going to get a triple, but got talked out of it by a woman in the bike shop who was my age and said, "Jennifer, you and I will get triples when we're 80. I'll go ride with you and tell you how you're climbing and what you need to work on."
As it turns out, she works with Chris Carmichael (Lance Armstrong's longtime coach) so she is someone I'll listen to! (After I ride with her, I'll post about it here!)
The maiden voyage was up Bachelor Gulch, my local litmus test for not only my fitness, but also where I've test ridden any bike or gearing I'd been considering. 5 miles of consistent climbing with no break, an average grade of about 8% and easily 13% in parts. Steeeeeeeep. When I know I'm going to ride Alpe d'Huez or another big col in France, this is the one I train on.
My fastest recorded time on my Serotta was 57-ish minutes (although I may have done it faster when I wasn't timing it). A few weeks ago, on a borrowed Orbea with only a 25 in the back, I did in 54 minutes. That one hurt (I had to stand up a lot due to the lower gearing).
On Saturday, I did it in 47:43 - mostly seated! I was shocked when I realized I was on the final switchback. Yes, I was over my threshold and breathing hard for much of it, but in no way did I realize I was going that fast. And the 28 low gear worked liked a dream - it was still challenging, but my cadence didn't drop to 50 rpm like it did with the 27.
[NB: The above photo is just at the top of the climb. Notice the snow on the mountains in the background - that had fallen the night before. Around here, winter is just around the corner]!
Was it the bike???
Or was it me (as Spin Bob from the forums suggested on my Facebook page)?
Maybe I shouldn't give the bike all the credit! Maybe it's those Spinning classes! ;-)
Anyways, I cannot wait to take this one over to France next year. I'm doing Alpe d'Huez for certain with my bike tours, so if you want to come join me, email me!
And if you know anyone looking for a fabulous used bike, I will be putting that interim Orbea Onyx on E-Bay and/or Craig's List later this week. 51cm, Full Ultegra, 11-23 cogset (not good for these hills, unless you're a Cat 1 or 2 racer). Upgraded Full Speed Ahead wheels. Note: Onyx's have long top tubes - my new 53cm Diva has a slightly shorter top tube than this 51cm Onyx. Contact me for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org