My First Road Bike: Where’s The Kickstand?
“The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world.” -Susan B. Anthony 1896
Saturday marked the official switch from my Trek hybrid to a real road bike. I’ve had my Trek for 7 years and initially went with a hybrid because I was doing a combination of road and trail biking. Now that I’m training for a triathlon and more concerned with performance and speed, I don’t want the distinction of having to be in the slow-poke “fat tire” division. I’m concerned enough already about wearing spandex during the triathlon and have no desire to be in any category designated as “fat.”
I’ve always wanted a Bianchi bike and the only shop in Nashville that sells them, Gran Fondo, happens to be only a few blocks from my house. I haven’t spent a lot of time in bike shops, but after spending a few hours in there on Saturday with the staff and the official shop hound, a beagle named Scooter, I am officially a Gran Fondo groupie. Watch this video to see a bit of beautiful Tennessee biking scenery and to meet some of my new favorite people in Nashville:
Two of the co-owners, Vida and her husband Lynn, both a musician and bike guru, (that happens a lot in Nashville) helped me navigate the unfamiliar world of road bikes and didn’t judge my road bike newbie status when I stated that my only requests were that it be “that pretty Celeste green color” and “not have fat tires.” I’d been in the shop once before to get my Trek worked on, so I already knew from my first conversation with them about tri bikes vs. road bikes that I wasn’t the first person to ever walk in there with a confused look on her face. Here is a video of Lynn giving the pros and cons of tri bikes vs. road bikes:
He obviously knew right away (and so did I) that I’m not someone who should be running out to buy a tri bike. I’m excited about my first triathlon and am enjoying the challenges of the training, but I know that a tri bike is not the way forward for me at this stage of the game. So, armed with good information and a desire to be able to bike faster than my usual 10-12 mph, this is what happened on my second trip to Gran Fondo:
My first ride on Sunday was the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike and going 24 miles an hour without the aid of free-wheeling it down a steep hill is going to be addicting. Very addicting.
For the grand finale of this story and because it wouldn’t be me to make it through an entire interaction with another human being without embarrassing myself, here is a recap of Saturday’s “Things I Shouldn’t Say Out Loud” segment:
Me: “I’m so excited! I can’t believe this is my bike!”
Me: “Hey, where’s the kickstand?”
Clayton (amused looking GF staff guy): “Road bikes don’t have kickstands.”
Me: “Oh yeah, I knew that.”
Me (to myself): “Seriously, bonehead? You’re embarrassing me.”