Greetings everyone. It's been quite a while since I've done a blog posting. I tell Lauren that I let her handle the blogging because, in my opinion, she does a much better job. Since this post is all about me, though, I figured I'd handle it.
As faithful followers of our blog know, Lauren has become quite a runner! I think it's great that she's found a hobby that lets her get outside and exercise. In fact, her enjoyment of running encouraged me to find something I could do for exercise and for some outside active fun as well. I ran track and cross country in high school and, as I like to say, that got running out of my system. I also have a knee that will hurt sometimes, so I was looking for something a little "lower impact". I've always enjoyed biking and did a lot when I was a kid, so I decided to look into that route, but with a twist. With the exception of an old Schwinn I had in middle school, I've always had mountain bikes. This time, I'm going to try out road biking.
I did research on different brands, different frame materials (aluminum, aluminum and carbon fiber, carbon fiber, titanium and carbon fiber), different components. I did some shopping and test riding at different bike stores. Yesterday I got one! A new bike for a new adventure into the world of cycling on the road!
Many of the online forums I read advised "you're new... buy used;" and so I did. I purchased a very gently used 2009 Specialized Allez Sport. The name is apparently French for "go". It was owned by a friend of the people at the bike store who is very meticulous with his bikes and so it was well cared for and never even ridden in the rain. In fact, they said he came in and bought a slightly lower end bike to use as his "rain bike" and couldn't even bring himself to ride that one in the rain.
The people at Cardinal Bicycle were very helpful in getting me a good bike and helping pick out my necessary accessories (seat bag, spare tube, mini pump, patches, tire tool, computer, and water bottle cages) and even put it all on for me while I waited. I was really pleased with the fact that they were not pushy at all. They knew I was just getting started and helped me pick what I needed for my level of experience. Unlike other bike stores, the salesman I talked to Saturday never even attempted to "close the sale". He gave me his card and told me to mention I talked to him if/when I came back. I really appreciated the fact that they recognized I was shopping around, and getting a feel for what was out there and didn't try to sell me that day.
Here it is!
My plan is to start on the Greenway and in the roads around our house. My goal is to be able to ride to the top of Mill Mountain (where the giant star is) by the end of the summer. We'll see how that goes! Right now though, on this cold and rainy day in Roanoke, I am "like a kid on Christmas morning," waiting for the weather to be nice so I can go outside and ride my new bike!