If you would have said that I'd enjoy cycling a couple of months ago I'd inform you that 'meth kills' and seek help at your local rehab center.
That being said my legacy with the bicycles is a trail of Vikings tears but I don't know why.
- My first bike was a Schwinn Sting-Ray "Orange Krate" Bicycle with orange metallic fleck banana seat. I cannot tell you what I would give for this bike today.
- Then I had a Raleigh Rampar that I drove into the grave
- I dabbled with using my Mother's (then antique 1971 Raleigh Grand Prix 10-speed).
- Then in 1991 a Cannondale M400 Mountain Bike.
- Then in 1999 a Cannondale M800 Mountain Bike.
- Then a cruiser to change things up, I got an Electra Ghostrider.
- ...And now a 2010 Cannondale Quick 4 with carbon fiber stays.
I've tried NOT to be a Cannondale fan but I just find on the days I go to buy a bike that I end up liking the Cannondale as much if not more than anything I test. I know they're supposedly overrated and not worth the sticker on the frame but whatever. Like I said I don't tell you what to ride.
The difference this time is that I'm road riding. And I can see a much more expensive bike in my future I'm afraid, as this sport has really bit me in the ass for some reason. Just like most humans, I'm not much of a fan of working out in the gym. I hate the muscle heads and that stink, and the guy that has -14 body fat talking to the triathlete chick that's been running like a cheetah on the treadmill since I got there and still is after I leave. Biking offers a lot of benefits, especially for me as I've had an ACL replaced and I have bad knees to begin with.
Different terrain challenges
Low-impact workout with extreme aerobic benefits
Exploring new and varying geographical landscape opportunities (this is also why I like golf)
So far my primary struggles with increasing my distances has been saddle (bike seat) pain. Let's face it I have a boney ass and the San Marco bike seat that came with the Cannondale was clearly constructed to retrieve enemy data from GITMO detainees. They should give riders of this brand a necklace with "The Patron Saint Of The Battered Taint" inscribed on it. That being said, I'm researching other options and finding that this hobby is incredibly fun and interesting as well.
Some other interesting facts I've learned in the past few months:
- You can get by by simply adjusting your seat to reduce the numbing in your hands from long-term riding (no more than 2 to 3º nose upward).
- That "drafting" is for pussies.
- Good gloves can save your hands from numbness.
- Be sure to eat some protein prior to a long ride to ensure you don't "bonk."
- That people with bikes they perceive as more expensive than yours (or at this point any bike that has drop handlebars) will not smile or nod at you when passing. Therefore I classify them as "douchcopters."
- The cold weather totally sucks to ride in; breezy and gusty cold weather is the doorway to Hell.
- You must drink an adequate amount of fluids while riding.
- Hardcore Italian bicycle guys are cooler than I would have thought.
- Make sure your "sit bones" are properly measured and you have the correct, style, height and installation of your seat.
- Do your best to establish proper riding form, leg position and back angle throughout your ride.
- Wear a helmet; or don't if you're an aforementioned douchcopter.
If you're shopping for a bike in Orlando, Florida here's a my short list of vendors:
Orange Cycle of College Park: World-class shop with awesome selection of bikes and accessories, friendly staff. Go see my boy Andrew Spears for the best bike buying experience of your life. He's the tall, skinny kid that with a giant beard and looks like Grizzly Adams joined the NBA. Far and away my favorite shop for all level or riders, and bike styles – even recumbents!
David's World Cycles of College Park: If you're a pretentious cyclist that only cares about a 100mile ride even if the world was under attack by naked porn starlets looking to mate, then David's is for you. Located just down the street from Orange Cycle, the angry staff will be sure to take the time to laugh at you under their breath if your not willing to pay more than $1,000 for a bike.
Advanced Cycles of Orlando: If you're looking to race and want the very best bicycles and advice then go here. This place is filled with Italian cats that know their weight in grams and can back it up on the road. They're not only knowledgeable but extremely nice not matter what level of rider you are. It's a smaller shop but worth the drive if you're into racing. If you're looking for the best (and most expensive) racing bikes then look no further.
Lastly, please hit up --> http://bit.ly/TourdeCureFL <-- the "Tour de Cure" to help me raise a couple of bucks for the American Diabetes Association and thanks a million. Ride with us on March 6, 2011!