Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Bike

I wanted to post about my long run yesterday (since I was still giggling about my constant negotiations with myself about continuing to run...I really do have those conversations with myself...)

But I also wanted to post this weekend about the bike ride I did on Friday, I FINALLY got out the really cool Avenir gel cycling gloves I WON from Nikemom about a month ago and went for a 10 mile bike ride around Mission Bay and Fiesta Island.

Aren't they pretty? They were really comfy and worked great! LOVE 'EM. Thanks again NikeMom!!!

So...maybe the bike helmet look isn't too bad after all...

Now I know that for many of you a 10 mile bike ride is a SPRINT, but you should also know that this is what I ride on.

And the tires look like this...

Really? These are not tires intended for long-distance bike travel, are they?

Before I went on the ride, I went by my local bike shop because DramaGirl's bike needed a new derailleur (or something like that), and I love this bike shop because its really close to my house, and the peeps who work there don't look at me like I'm an idiot when I ask what are probably really stupid questions about biking...because seriously, I know NADA.

But this is what I do know...riding this bike is HARD WORK. Maybe harder than it needs to be.

So, here's my thinking. I can put some better or at least more appropriate tires on my bike for less than $100 (tires, tubes, installation). Sounds reasonable to me.

Also, I can put on the groovy pedals which attach themselves to cycling shoes (which scare me a little because I'll inevitably fall off my bike at some point), but which I also believe will give me a better overall and pedals will cost somewhere around $100 as well (more or less). big question is, do I spend about $200 retrofitting my existing bike (when I told the bike guy that I thought I'd had the bike about five years, he did shake his head a little when he told me the bike was a 1999 or 2000 model...geez how time flies) so that I can use it for some cross training and a potential ride around Lake Tahoe this summer or do I?????

Well...there is no "other" other than do nothing...It's not like I can afford a new bike right now really, it's a non-question. It's retrofit or nothing.

I vote for new tires and pedals.

Also, the bike-guy told me that with new tires, I'd see an immidiate 20% increase in speed, and with the new pedal/shoe combo, I'd get a better whole leg workout. (Really? 20%? My average speed on Friday's ride was 10.5 mph...does that mean I'll average about 12mph now...wheeeeeeee!)

Disclaimer: in all was pretty windy on Fiesta Island, which undoubtedly slowed me down...but in the interest of full disclosure, lots of biking peeps FLEW past me with their fancy pedals and smooth tires...GAH!

So...why the focus on the bike? It's something that I've been thinking about for awhile. A heap of running injuries will do that to a person. I figure with a good bike ride once or twice a week, I can get some cardio in without running in a lower impact way.

Oh, and it opens a whole new door of gear that I can buy and obsess about biking sorts, new shirts, new gear...wheeeeeeeee! I like gear. We know that.

Here's me doing an RBR...biking and self-photoing at the same time without falling off the bike...I'm gonna be soooooo good at this :-)


  1. Sooooooo... I know I'm not the only one who is thinking this... but is there a tri in your future????

    Cool gear!

  2. You're right, the bike you have is heavier and putting on different tires is going to make a world of a difference. Imagine how much lighter is it going to be and feel! You will be a speed demon then!

    I would have to go along with Irene... is there a potential tri in your future?

    And, BTW, there is nothing HAWTER than a chick with a bike helmet!

  3. I upgraded my tires to not the real skinny ones, but somewhere in the middle and I make my bike smoke! Your bike actually looks a lot like mine. Mine is a TREK 3700.
    Go for a tri!
    Nice job on self-photo while riding...and I thought I rode dangerously...I'll have to try the self photo thing someday!

  4. Go for the $200 investment if the choice is that or nothing! Fo sho! Get a feel for it and THEN if you're just loving it, take the plunge. I'm actually a retired 'runner' turned triathlete b/c of all the injuries too. I just can't run that much anymore - 5-6 days of running/week, not happening. Now, swim 3, ride 3, run 3, yeah baby!

  5. I know nothing about bikes, but the gloves are pretty!

  6. You make a bike helmet look good. ;)

  7. So my in-laws do this great ride EVERY sunday. They call it the 5-City ride. You start out in downtown SD (City Hall parking lot) and work your way through National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and Coronado. At Coronado you take the ferry back to SD. I did it once and it's fun... but oh my heck was I hurting later in the day... biking against the wind from IB into Coronado. We should do it with them so that you can see the route. Let me know!!!

  8. *lurking for answers*

    I have the EXACT same bike.

  9. Seems a lot less expensive than buying a new road or hybrid bike. Also, thanks for you kind comments on my race yesterday!

  10. I'm in the process of buying a hybrid, which looks a lot like your bike but with thinner tires that still have deep grooves to grab mud and dirt if the mood strikes. I say splurge on the upgrades.

  11. i'm clueless when it comes to bike fixing/maintenance/parts too, but i'd love to learn more. Great job getting out for a ride!

  12. My bike is a Giant, I have the hybrid tires. As infrequently as I ride, they work for me. Hopefully, there will be more bike riding for me this year than last!

    I like riding my bike, but all those dogs that are so friendly when I run hate bikes, they tend to try and bite the tires. Ugh!

  13. Here's what I'd do (and did) seriously:

    Get your bike tuned up and fixed. Ride it around and see if you're going to be committed to doing Tahoe and the tri in Mission Bay in October (seriously, it's in October and at Mission Bay. I'll probably be doing it and I'll got cheer for you if I don't do it. It's such a fun race).

    Once you've decided you're committed, shop around at bike shops for good deals on shoes and pedals. Performance is usually the cheapest.

    Talk to me or, other riders, first before you chose the type of pedals you get.

    See Jane Tri is in Sept in NorCal. IT was uber fun! I'm probably doing it again!

  14. Nice job!! Yeah, I have a bike like that. I put on "thinner" tires with less grooves (think big road bike tires), and that really helped out. I call it my "commuter bike" because now it's the go-anywhere bike. I put bar-ends on it too so I could change my grip now and then. You should do that to yours! You'll love it!!

  15. My friend does centuries on her mtn bike. She got road tires, but not the shoes.
    I think she has done 6 of them so far.

  16. I have a hybrid bike similiar to yours and I expect it's the same age too. maybe i ought to take it to a bike shop for a tune-up as well. i can't afford a new one so this is what i use at the tris.

  17. I vote retrofit!

    Nice job on the bike ride!

    BTW, you are much more talented at the self-portrait in motion. I always look like a melon head!

  18. I agree with everyone... retrofitting is the key. We rode today at Mission Bay and my hubby put "flats" on as pedals so I could wear my running shoes in case I wanted to run instead of bike. I'll tell you, riding around flat Mission Bay seemed almost as difficult as Sycamore Canyon. The clips really make a difference. You'll get used to them quickly. I also had BIG, KNOBBY tires. I know that flatter ones would have been nice.

    I'll ask my hubby where a good place to get that stuff.

    Btw...10.5 mph? Pretty good! Kenny and I averaged less than 9 mph today.