At long last, it happened – I bought my first road bike! It was a momentous event that did not start off well thanks to the joys of weekend bus schedules (that’s a whole different story!), but ended with happiness and a bit of apprehension. Donnerwetter, German for thunderstorm, has stormed into my life and is the best little black raincloud a girl could want!
It started off (after the bus schedule fiasco) at REI, where I had seen the matte black and white Cannondale Synapse 6 I loved. I handed over my ID and a credit card and took it out for a test ride – thank goodness it didn’t rain as it had been threatening!
Although I was terrified I’d fall over and scratch it and be stuck with it, I made laps, testing the gear shifting, and adjusting to the different body position. I even rode it up a hill behind the store, to test the low gears. Embarrassingly, I shifted the wrong direction and made it up the hill in high gear….
I did it a few more times, correctly, and decided I was happy with the bike, and I wanted to keep it.
Donnerwetter, or Donner for short, also met his new riding partner, Blitzen, German for lightening, The Mechanic’s 2002 Cannondale road bike, recently acquired thanks to Craigslist.
Because of my nervousness with general road bike-ness, I opted against clipless pedals for now, but I will get some down the road.
On a glorious not-quite-Spring Sunday morning, The Mechanic and I took Donner and Blitzen out on the W & OD Trail for our first real ride. We rode straight to Herndon, VA, about 32 miles round trip. Okay, there were some rider difficulties (I got lazy on a step-through comfort bike) as I adjusted to position and a higher ride, but mostly I was just pleased that I made it in one piece to Herndon and back!
I almost look like I know what I’m doing! You can’t quite tell, but I was a rolling advertisement for BikeArlington – jersey, water bottle, and socks. Gotta represent!
So now that I’ve done it once, and wasn’t terribly crippled afterwards, I feel much better about this purchase, and my crazy dream to do a century by the end of the year. Our half-century in May, out in West Virginia, shouldn’t be too bad, but I have several weeks worth of training mentally mapped out. Look out, the thunderstorm is here!