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I should have brought the road bike

Kelly's bike was her baby before we had babies. (Well, and Kieran the greyhound!) When I moved in, it lived upstairs in the extra room that is now Cole's bedroom. At one point, she bought a wall mount for it to hang in the dining room--now playroom--but we couldn't find the beams to install it correctly since we live in a nearly 100 year old building. To be fair, it's a nice bike. The rule was don't touch the bike. I could ride it in the trainer in the basement and adjust the seat down. But hands off everything else.

Lately, I'd been doing more of the cycling in our household and it was looking more and more like I was hoping to do Ironman Wisconsin...with only a hybrid to my name. So she graciously offered her roadie to me for training and the race next year. It was an amazing gesture considering how much she is uncomfortable with someone tinkering with it. But it just made sense to do that kind of distance (112 miles) on a bike built for it.

So after Pleasant Prairie, as I've previously posted about, I've taken it out on a couple rides trying to decide my true feelings about an Ironman attempt. And it's a great bike. Love it. Kelly was happy to see it doing what it was meant to be doing--out on the road, not going nowhere inside. But it's become a delicate topic as we share it this summer. Inconsiderate me forgot to put the saddle higher when I knew she was the next to ride it. She's just coming back to cycling after not having been on the bike since before kids. Plus, throw in the extra delicate issue of whether or not we as a family (because we're all in it, not just me) can spend hundreds of dollars and all the time and other sacrifices that would go into me tackling Ironman Wisconsin. Sure, a summer of long training swims, rides, runs...but there's the reservations this Sept and me spending a weekend away volunteering to claim a spot in next year's race.

Anyway, I had decided to take the hybrid to my ride with the cycle club on their fast Tuesday evening ride last night. I should have brought the road bike.

When I was riding nearly every week in May/June, it was a more lowkey group of riders and the pace was quick-but-manageable for me usually. I could stay with the front of the pack at least. When I pulled up to the meeting spot last night, I got a bit nervous and nearly turned around though. This wasn't the old group. Out of 15, maybe one face I recognized. It was a sea of bike jerseys on top of several thousand dollar Felt, Specialized, etc. with brand new wheel sets and here I was on my flat bar.

There is supposed to be two groups...a slower group and a faster group. But the slower group never really materialized. We had to go a different route to get around a railroad crossing torn up with construction. So we were clumped together in the denser neighborhoods for the first few miles. When the faster guys pulled on the open road, however, I was no match. The only thing that was saving me and allowing me to catch up were the traffic lights. Thank goodness I'd taken the two-bottle cage off the road bike so I could carry 3 bottles because I needed all of them.

It was hot enough during the day yesterday here that it melted the tar on the road in one particular place coming home. The tar covered all our tires and made an obnoxious squeaking noise that sounded strangely like mechanical trouble with the rear derailleur and more than one person pulled over to check what was "wrong" on their bike.

It was a pleasant workout, but I ended up with an average equal to my race at Pleasant Prairie. Same miles, same speed. Not quite as much on the max side without hills, but we were cruising at about 22mph...would have been easily accomplished on the roadie CR1, but not on mine. With stops it ended up more like 16mph avg for 25 miles. In 90 degree weather, not bad.

With the extra cage behind my seat, I had to ditch my usual saddle bag for a bento box. Which I wasn't comfortable putting my tools and valuables like sunglasses and phone in something that only has a velcro, not a zipper. Lessons learned.

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