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Road bike shopping

The nice thing about having your own blog is being Editor In Chief. I started typing out a post about how my kids are currently in love with John Henry (pretending to drive "railroad spikes" with a kitchen spatula), Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, and Casey Jones.

Then I got about two paragraphs in and went *&^% it, I don't feel like writing about that. So there. I'm going to write about searching for a new road bike instead.

The Mama has been nice enough to indulge my obsessive, research-based nature by not surprising me with a bike. Heck, I don't think she even wants any part in taking me to pick one out like last time...if she's smart? Instead, she's given me my birthday-Christmas-Father's Day for the year all in one swoop and said, "happy hunting." She knows me too well!

For those who don't remember, "my" bike is a hybrid that I use to pull the kids in the bike trailer. The Mama has a very nice carbon fiber road bike that she started letting me ride last summer...but it's her bike. So my ability to monkey with it is limited. It's only fair to respect that it isn't mine and she's been very gracious about something that was her baby long before I arrived to the scene.

So the intent here is for me to get an entry-level road bike on a budget...it's mine to tinker with and enjoy without either of us having to feel guilty. And I'm fairly confident I can get the bike and the various odds and ends--bike computer, bottle cages, aerobars, pedals, shoes--at the price. Maybe even with a little leftover to buy a wetsuit with my tri club discount and enter the Racine 70.3.

But I have a few brands in mind--Felt and Specialized especially--so I've been trying to figure out what bike shops I can visit to accomplish everything from getting a good fit and good price to not having to run all over the region. (For those unfamiliar with the world of cycling, shops tend to carry a limited number of brands. It's like going to a shoe store and you want to try on Nike but all they carry is Reebok and Asics.)

Throw in the fact that we get a 20% discount at one of the best bike fitters in the nation with the tri club and I'm facing an overwhelming amount of information. Plus the problem of if I buy now it will have to sit for warmer weather before I get to ride. I don't want to wait to long into spring in case they have to order something for me though.

If any of you triathletes or cyclists who read me have some tips or advice, feel free to reach out.

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