Monday, March 16, 2015

N + 1 = Tons of Fun

At the end of January, Sampson, Thelma (+ Juan Pablo), the Beast and I welcomed an addition to our little family.

I had been contemplating a new bike for many months now. I mean, Thelma is a bit old and a little heavy but she gets the job done, right?  Did I really need a new bike?  With a couple 70.3's on the schedule this year, I thought why not do something that will bring me happiness, make my life a little easier and hopefully faster?  So, as a happy divorce present to myself, I bit the bullet.

Meet Jasper.

this match is
Snoop Approved!
Since that day it has been rainy, snowy and icy mess here in the Piedmont of NC, and if it hasn't been precipitating it's been just plain old cold and dreary; and honestly folks I am a wuss and do NOT like riding in the cold.  I am a pansy. I won't deny it!

So our "rides" have thus far been inside during our computrainer class which may have been a blessing in disguise.  This presented the perfect opportunity to get used to the new position and gear set up within a controlled environment (ideal for those like me who are accident prone and tend to tip over...)

And then it happened.
The sun came out.
The trumpets sounded.
The call came.
"Let's roll."

Okay, so it didn't happen quite like that.  More like, Hope is still unprepared and needs a water bottle cage ...
do you have one?
Yes I have one.
Can you put it on for me?
(Sigh.) Yes.
I don't know what to wear.
(Sigh.) Bike clothes.
I don't remember how to clip in and out.
(Shaking of the head and rolling eyes at irrational panic)
I'm freaking out.
Don't freak out (Dammit, woman.  HTFU)

Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.  It was go time.  There I was, with my stomach in my throat and heart pounding watching as my friends started to roll out from base camp.  Gotta go now or get left behind.  "Alright Jasper, we have to make this happen.  Be good to me and I'll try really hard not to tip us over...." And then we were off.

It took me awhile to get comfortable, in my head and on the bike.  I was nervous and scared to death.  I had just gotten somewhat comfortable being in aero position on Thelma last year, but I wasn't in Kansas anymore.  Jasper is a triathlon bike and this is what he was built for whereas Thelma was a roadie made to be like a TT bike.  The fits are still night and day.  Jasper is smaller, lighter and I don't have a lot of bike underneath me as I once did. You definitely feel every single bump, no matter how small, in the road.  He also has me more forward and lower making getting down in aero position wobbly and entertaining.  Mr. van Voo gave me great advice. In summary, "Suck it up Buttercup and get your ass in aero; it's the only way to get over being scared.  Besides, on these bikes you are meant to be in aero and it will make your life easier."  He was right.  Before I even realized it, I was down in my bars more often than not, even in the pace line.  And if I was lagging behind on a flat, the only way I could catch back up was drop in the bars.  Actually, being down in my bars was the only way I could pull when it was my turn to be out in front.  Aero on the down hills?  At first I was like "hell to the no!"  by the end, I was like "in the bars going 33mph down this bitch? no prob" (only a little scary and I'm not quite sure if I was breathing or not...haha!)

I'm afraid my pull segments may have been our slowest, so I hope they let me keep trying.  I can see how pulling a few of your closest friends as a great way to build bike strength!

It's no secret my weakness is hills.  And as much as I hate hills, curse them, cry on them, whine on them and feel like my legs are going to spontaneously combust while trying to get up them; I am thankful, grateful and happy that my friends put up with my shenanigans and make me do them!

It is they who will make me stronger.

So, that was my Sunday.  I haven't forgotten how much I missed these group rides, but yesterday was definitely a reminder.  It brought back many happy memories of last summer and it was a promise to make new memories with old friends and new friends I get to call my teammates.

And let me tell you what.  If I had any doubts or buyers guilt, both are LONG GONE now.  Jasper is one lean, mean, quick little machine!

All eyes on Raleigh 70.3.
Suck it up Buttercup!

Special shout out to Inside Out Sports, Melissa Bell, Bob Nixon and James Haycraft for getting me on Sir Jasper McHotWheels.  One sexy bad ass.

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