These ladies know how to dress, how to ride, and how to look good doing it.
Briefly browsing the blog let me see into a culture, society, world that see bicycles in a pure and balanced form. At least they would have me think of it that way.
Then it kind of hit me. In Copenhagen, these women and men ride as a way of life and their bikes are uniquely theirs. They have their own style, and are not the investments many in America view their bikes to be... like me.
Sure some clothes and styles of cycling have come out of necessity, but there are now designer clothing lines coming from this growing culture. Seen here at VeloCulture, Beauty and the Bike, and here at Interbike 2009; bike fashion is becoming a hit all over the globe. Sure it will be a while before America catches the fever in an epidemic form, but it is on the way.
I hope to get a few pics of my school's chic cyclists to share!
What a lovely world it would be to see more of these beautiful bike rides about! No?
I'm an aspiring cyclist. Simple as that. When I see a guy like Ted King, who is only 26 and going into his second year of pro racing, I can't say that that is at all unheard of, but I'm dumbfounded. He began racing at age 20. My age. And he has been able to work his way through all of the racing levels to riding and finishing the Giro in 5 years. Am I the only one that is stunned by this?
He sure doesn't seem to put off the air of a boastful, cocky young-gun, but I think that's remarkable. I don't really care much for him as a rider at this point at least. I haven't heard talk about him ever being a gc rider in a grand tour, but what about him and his racing afforded him to be at the top level of cycling in 5 years? I don't know what he did in his high school or college years before he got on the bike. I don't think the guy is doping. I just want to know how I can do that. I want to get to that level. Right?
Enough drooling. This talk is making me sick. Who knows where I'll be in 4-5 years. My birthday is January 18th and I will be turning 21. I have consented to the very likely probability that I will never get up to that level of pro racing. I don't think I'll ever get above a Cat2 racer. Just fact. Self-pity aside, I am just being realistic. I love cycling, but unless this training really pays off and I become a force this next season, I don't think I will ever be on such a fast track to the pro peleton as T.King.
I also know cycling and racing improvement is a process with a lot of sacrifice and time. I got me a beautiful bike and a growing passion for the sport. I respect those who have been able to ascend to the top, except the cowardly dopers. I just want to have fun on these 2-wheel princesses and put myself and, whenever possible, put those around me in as much pain as I can. I'll be a force yet.
I took her out for the first outside ride today and she is magnificent. I know I've had her for a while, but let's not forget that whole pedal debacle and that weather in Indiana has been less than ideal for bike riding. I'm not going to be an apologist. I'm glad I waited. Although, I do wish I could have taken her out for the first time in a more ceremonious manner. But then it donned on me... Fairfax, Va is expecting 14-20 inches of snow tomorrow. It was only 33 degrees out and not particularly windy compared to Indiana, Pa. With all this in mind I took her out and she showed me a good time. Completely worth the money. Her name is Bella meaning beautiful in Italian. That was what I came up with and it stuck.
Man is she fast. I must admit, being noticeable lighter, she does not accelerate quite as fast as my old bike did on the downhill, but her acceleration on the uphill more than makes up for it (and that's where it counts). The handling on the bike is much better too. I almost had my front and rear wheels washed out from under me at different occasions to no fault of the bike, but my choice of line through some turns and braking. Allow me to reiterate, this was my first outside ride with her so handling, shifting, and braking are different. Thus, I need to get used to it all. I don't think it will take long tho.
The comfort and feeling I have on this bike is something I am really excited about. There was a noticeable difference in cornering and ease of shifting. This bike is such a step up from my old one. Not to mention the Fizik Arione saddle I got for this was well worth the extra cash! I love this bike and am looking forward to continued training (trainer riding) on this through the winter months coming to race in the spring.
Today is my sister's bday and I was supposed to go to Florida and visit my family down there that I haven't seen in over a year. Unfortunately, this 14-20 inches of snow coming is probably going to hinder the trip. Guess I won't have an excuse for a break in my training program...
The wait was worth it. Having to wait for suitable pedals to be able to ride this beautiful purchase was terribly worth it. Well, at least in the sense that I was not about to return the thing just because I couldn't get old pedals off the old bike, but let's just entertain the idea that it was worth the wait. Though, I didn't really seem to have much of a choice in the matter.
Moving on. This bike is a smooth, swift, sleek bicycle. However, my riding is just more of the same. I am still on the trainer and working hard to keep up on my training program. The inclimate weather is making it easy to want to be inside to ride tho. I cannot see this bike's first outside anywhere in the near future, but I know it will be quite exciting when it comes. I hope to have lost a bit of weight by that time too. I am feeling well in control of that aspect of my preparation and training. I am hovering around 175 right now. Come he spring racing season I do wish to be under 170. The hallenge will lie in maintaining that and maintaining my cycling energy.
But I won't jump the gun. I am not going to worry too much about my weight. It will flow as it will. I can only do so much. Right now I only have to worry about sticking to my training plan and having faith that it will pay off.
Sure, I have the right Ike now, but that will only go so far. I want to be a stronger, smarter, more focussed cyclist. - More on that later.
This ride is a serious step up. SRAM Rival components, Fizik Arione saddle, [Mavic] Aksium Race wheelset with bladed spokes, Continental, Ultra Race tires, compact 50/34 cassette with 11-26 - 10 speed rear, hollow pin chain, hollow bottom bracket, carbon seat post, carbon stem, Scott Addict R3.
I do know this is not the highest end as far as components and parts go, but this is an entirely different bike than the one I have owned before. I love it.
But back to reality, this bike needs new pedals and the ones on my old bike are not coming without a fight. I was able to get my left pedal off, but the right one is STUCK! I suppose my old bike knows that it is being replaced. I can't blame her for not wanting to let go. Thus, I am going to probably have to leave those T-Mobile pink pedals on her. Doesn't matter now anyway. I have already purchased pedals off eBay. Not sure if that was the most responsible thing to do, but I know I can wait for them to arrive and put them on my new Scott Addict.
Forgive my ranting.
Patience is a virtue. I know I can wait for something I want. No matter how close or far away she is from me. Believe that. And I think she's worth it.
There's a lot I feel I should be blogging about. Though I know only two people will at least see that I have posted anything, I shouldn't let that stop me. Tomorrow could be a big day for me. This weekend regardless will be big for me, and for this blog's sake, my cycling. I will be purchasing a 2010 Scott Addict R3 with all SRam Rival components.
But let me take a moment and update you on what I've been doing since my last posting...
^ That. A lot of that. Simple riding on my trainer in heart rate zones 1 and 2... and above that when I'm feeling naughty for a minute or two.
I know it may not look too interesting/fun/respectable/noteworthy. I know I may seem to be wasting "valuable" days where I could be riding outdoors, but I trust myself. I know I will be stronger for this. No doubt. I really don't care how the weather is outside. I know what I am doing on my bike and what I am putting my body through.
Another comment on that photo there.... That was taken as I was riding it for a free basic fitting at Big Bang Bikes who is now the bike shop sponsoring IUP Cycling. Today may be the last day I will seriously be on that bike you see up there. She is a first love. I might keep her around after all. We'll see.
This will be my new love. Not sure what I'll name her, but I have a few ideas. Again, the 105 component set you see crapping up that bike will be replaced by SRam Rival. Should make it weigh around 15-16lbs... I hope?!
This bike is going to cost me a lot. It's a big purchase in my small college world. I am thankful to Big Bang Bikes for providing such an amazing deal for it. I know it isn't the nicest/lightest/most expensive/ most beautiful ride, but I do know I am in college and this bike will take me over the hills for the next few years. I am very fortunate to be able to do this and afford this.