Monday, June 9, 2008

The cycle begins... and I've named my new bike...

After months of going back and forth in trying to decide what type of triathlon bike to purchase, I finally made up my mind last week and my new bike arrived on Saturday. I ended up purchasing a brand new 2007 Specialized Transition Multi-Sport (pretty much an aluminum bike with the exception of the carbon seat post and fork), which is actually one of the very first bikes I looked at when I started shopping several months ago for one. Because of its material makeup, I have dubbed it "Me-Cycle Aluminum" . This bike will hopefully carry me through the remainder of my training and onto my first Ironman. There were 3 main reasons I chose this bike.

First, it has the geometry of a tri-bike with the handling benefits of a road bike. I live in an area where there are no bike paths to speak of, and many of the roads I will have to ride on have no shoulder at all, just the 2 lanes of traffic and God watching your back to make sure oncoming traffic is paying attention, leaving a margin for error of about 3 feet as cars go by in the same lane. The fact that the bike has road handlebars as well as the aerobars already benefitted me from a control factor on my first ride on Saturday when I was coming up on a huge pothole in the road at the same time a car was going by me in the same lane. By being able to let got of the aerobars and get more control on the road bars, I am positive it helped me to avoid an accident. The road bars have also come in handy on the couple of rides I did over the weekend with the wind. Since I am close to the Gulf Coast, it is not uncommon to have steady wind gusts of 20-30 mph, and again it was very comforting to be able to go from the aerobars to the road bars to gain more control.

Second, in the last week or so we found out that our house may possibly have some serious foundations problems, not uncommon in this part of Texas. If that is the case, we are talking major, major, major bucks for repair, and I simply could not justify spending $2,000-$3,000 more for a bike with that potential financial burden weighing on me.

Third, if it does turn out that I decide I want to do more than one Ironman and/or get more involved in triathlons of various distances, I can always upgrade to a better bike further down the road and give this one to my son. He and I are basically the same height and measurements, and he has recently expressed an interest in doing some triathlons in the future (he is 16 and has already completed 3 half-marathons).

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