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Five months and counting…

April 7, 2009

Tonight is my last night with my personal trainer. After this I’ll be on my own for awhile, at least until I can afford the several hundred dollars it costs to have a personal trainer (they are not cheap!). I’ve been doing alright on my own for the past couple of days. I’ve been using their stationary bikes at the gym and managed to ride almost 8 miles both nights. I’ve been setting the time at half an hour this week. I’m trying to start slow, and not overwork myself too much. Next week I’ll add ten minutes to it. And just keep going until I’m ready to bike 36 miles (which is the minimum I’ve committed to do). I might end up doing the 68 mile loop, or somewhere in between, but I want to see where I am in my progress in August. It’s a little less than 5 months away, but it feels like it’s coming up so soon! Five months does not seem like enough time to train or raise money.

I’ll be buying an actual, real-life bike in a couple of weeks. Does anyone have any suggestions on what kind of bike I should get? I’ve heard a road bike, but they are spendy little buggers. Hybrid maybe? I don’t know, I’ve never done a ride before. But if you have and can shed some light on my purchase, I would really appreciate it.

I’m also plugging along on my fundraising. Haven’t done too well so far… Only at $150 out of $4,000…

Please consider donating $10 to my Ride to Cure Diabetes. That’s all I’m asking for. Ten bucks. But it’ll help me so much. Thanks.

  1. April 7, 2009 8:16 PM

    Hey congrat’s on your training so far!! Regarding purchasing a bike, I am partial to road bikes for these types of events (and, okay, all bike events that I do), but it also depends on what you may like to do with the bike after you finish your ride.

    If you want to ride with a group of people on road bikes, you will most likely need a road bike in order to keep up. And cycling tends to be a social sport–you might try finding a local triathlon or cycling club and get in on some of their beginning training rides. But if you are riding a hybrid bike, it will be difficult to stay with people on road bikes, just because these bikes are slower (due to the thicker tires used and your position on the bike).

    If your main concern is the price, you could try buying a bike used. This can be difficult for your first bike, though, since you may not know your size and preferences. But if you can find a friend to help you, it is a good way to save money.

    If you think you may continue to cycle after your event, I would recommend going with a road bike. If you think you may want to use your bike to commute, you may want to consider other options. Personally, I wouldn’t want to ride a hybrid bike in a ride over 30 miles, let alone nearly 70. I would get impatient!

    Feel free to email me if you have more questions.

  2. April 7, 2009 8:17 PM

    That would be “Anne” not “Amme.” My eyes were still dilated from my eye exam when I first started this reply! Ha!

  3. April 7, 2009 8:29 PM

    I’m not really sure what I want to use the bike for. I don’t know if I’d do another ride, because I haven’t even done this one yet! And road bikes are so expensive. I’m not sure I could even afford a used one… I’m also afraid that I’ll be uncomfortable on a road bike, hunched over like that. My wrists start hurting an awful lot when I’ve used my gym’s spinner bikes… I would think being more upright would help.

    I guess I’ll just have to keep thinking about it.

  4. April 7, 2009 11:39 PM

    If your wrists bother you, then a road bike with dropped handlebars (and without “suicide levers” on the brakes) might really be the better choice. Riding “low” on the dropped bars stresses your shoulders, arms, and wrists less because they’re not getting the full bumpity-bump of the road. OTOH, if you have lower back problems, the dropped position could become an issue.

    I’d definitely look into training on the road rather than in the gym as soon as possible; real bikes handle a whole lot differently than gym bikes (even spinning bikes). You may want to see if you can rent wheels from a reputable shop, or possibly take a few types of bikes out on test rides to see what suits you best.

    I would say, though, that to purchase a moderately reasonable *new* bicycle today, you should budget at least $400 aside from safety gear (helmet and gloves) and, if you choose to go that route, cleats and the appropriate pedals (not a “standard item” on entry level road bicycles).

    Make sure you also have a frame pump, a spare tube, tire gauge, and tire irons: the repair vans on these sorts of events are few and far between.

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