Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You Must Be 21 or Older to Read This Blog Post (Not Really, Mom)

The following is Not Safe For Work due to its excessive sexiness.

Pretty major thing everybody: I got a new Machine.

Some of you know that I've been coveting this very machine for quite a long time, and debating its measures and asking the what-ifs and stating the yeah-buts. Well, yesterday was my birthday, and since it's my last year in this age group, I decided it was as good a time as any.

It's a Trek TTX. It's ridiculous in every way. Except for the stem, it's carbon fiber pretty much from top to bottom. I upgraded the aero bars and handlebars and brake levers to carbon fiber and had them installed when I bought the bike. Yes, you read that right. Carbon fiber brake levers. A new level of absurd sexiness has been achieved.

This bike is so sexy, when I ride by dudes question their sexuality. Girls peel their shirts off and throw them at me. The FCC is probably going to fine me just for posting these pictures. Google will likely ban me for misuse of Blogger.

I got it at Machinery Row Bicycles in Madison. They were good to me, and gave me a good deal. Part of that good deal - and here's where there is genuine heartache - was in trading in Ol' Blue. That was sincerely tough. We've been through a lot together. But, the crankshaft (which I bought season-before last), pedals and saddle were imported from 'Blue, so I like to think some of its soul lives on in the new machine. And, it was time. 'Blue was an entry level tri-bike, and just wasn't really made for the miles I put on it. The wheels were shredded. The body was creaking. The drivetrain was rattling. It was either time for a significant overhaul, or a new ride. Ultimately, for my long-term peace of mind and goals, it was time. But I don't mind telling you that Amy cried about losing 'Blue, and so did I, and I kissed him in the store like I did at Ironman when he saw me through the wind and the rain. I hope they shine him up and get it retail-ready, and somebody new will continue the adventure with 'Blue.

But now, it's time for a new legend to be born. What a significant, serious thing to get a new bike! What will we do together? See, and accomplish, and overcome? I can't wait. I've only taken it out yet for a single 15 mile ride. I want to not fall into the whole placebo thing where when people get a new bike they swear they go 2 mph faster just be being atop it. And, after only 15 miles on a really windy day, I don't have much useful to report yet. I can share that the ride should be compared to a luxury automobile. It's very stiff, and so responsive. It seems to insist on thrusting up hills. All the carbon fiber soaks up road vibration so I'm more comfortable than I've ever been. And the ride is very stable - descending steep hills was a bonafide joy, rather than a scare, because the bike felt so sure underneath me. I'm very excited to create a new relationship, see what's possible between us, Become Ironman together.

But wait - there's more. Since I bought a new bike, they gave me a deal on a new helmet. You won't believe what I got. Check it out.

See it? Look from another angle...

Yup, that's right. An aero helmet. Ha! So heads up everybody - I am officially that guy. I'm that guy with a bike beyond his abilities. I'm a middle-of-the-pack age-group hack with an aero helmet. I'm that guy that other people will write blog posts about how great it felt to be cruising up hills on their 1972 Schwinn made of cobalt or something and "passing guys on rocketships with aero helmets".

In seriousness, it wasn't just a random purchase - at the Half-Iron and Iron distance, an aero helmet can save you minutes per hour, and it's the cheapest "speed for the dollar" you can really get, just ahead of racing wheels. So, it does serve purpose beyond my efforts to totally dork out. But really - who knows what to expect. It's one of the admitted trappings that sometimes makes this game fun for me, and so there you have it. I should be easy to spot on race day at least!

Finally, to business: I ran 10 miles this weekend faster than I've ever ran 10 miles before (1:27 or something like that, but only 6 of those miles were speed-intentional, so it's encouraging). I'm also improving my interval times pretty significantly, and almost clocked 3 sub-7:00 minute miles today (with a .25 mile walk-break in-between), with only my last mile going 7:04 (Mile 1 was 6:57, Mile 2 was 6:52.) I was also in the pool for the first time all season (Brazo, I was 2 lanes away from you, but you were busy swimming so I never said hello) - that didn't go terribly well, but it gave me some sense of where I am anyway. I think pool time will be the hardest for me to come by this season, so I'm not sure what the water will be like this season. If I can get 2-3 swims in a week, I'll be very happy.

Lastly, we've had an interesting ongoing conversation in the comments of the post before this one, "On Fear". I'll be summing that conversation up in a post of its own at some point, but check out the many things people are saying, it's really interesting.

Really lastly, my man Bubba took 4th place in a ONE HUNDRED MILE TRAIL RACE !!!!!! That's utterly unbelievable. Way to go dude!

Really really lastly, my favorite birthday gift of all was this Ironman stroller that Amy, my mother, my mother-in-law, and my buddy Mike went in on together for me and D. We had our inaugural 3-mile run in it today - it went well, she seems to dig it! The very best part of Becoming Ironman again will be my new training partner, no doubt.

Oh, and really really really lastly, I couldn't stop myself on one last purchase at the bike shop. It fits her, believe it or not, but it'll be awhile before it's of any real use. Still, here we are together in our shiny hats. Extreme Cuteness alert ahead.


Team Brazo said...

Excellent bike! I'm thinking it is worth more than my truck (which is probably true). Didn't see ya at swimming the other day -- I'm the in/swim/out guy -- no looking around just get it done.

Love the run stroller -- combining your hobbies with the kids is very cool -- but how the heck are you going to fit that "Aero" child seat on the Equinox????

Rainmaker said...

Wow that's a damn nice bike. I agree with your synopsis.

HOWEVAH - I think ya lose some adult entertainment points for in the same post putting a photo of your (cute) kid looking like a bumblebee. :)

TriSaraTops said...



Happy birthday! LOVE the bike! So hawt. And I'll join you on a bike over my abilities this year! LOL! :)

JayZ has the SAME STROLLER! We have to get these two together for a run somehow! She is sooooooooooooooooooooo cute!

xt4 said...

Laughing out loud at Rainmaker -

TST - I saw your stroller at your blog, and laughed because it was the very one I was hoping to get for D. Maybe JZ should come to WIBA, and our extreme cuteness forces can unite!

Erin said...

Woah. So much here to comment on. That bike...omg. And the extreme cuteness of little Miss D. Wow. Speechless am I.

Alili said...

Okay, as much as I fear the bike in general-I am drooling over your new Equinox. WOW! Happy Birthday!

Spandex King said...

Looks fast and it's not even moving!

Pharmie said...

Wow, that is one fast bike, and D is too cute!

Triteacher said...

I LOVE the bike. And yes, that is some serious porn. And right in the same post with your kid. Sheesh, what's this site coming to??

moggie said...

You duh man!!! What a coool looking bike! BTW I really enjoyed you article about "When is a 15 mile ride not just a 15 mile ride." at trifuel.

Ridge Racer said...

OMG what a bike!! I have a Trek 1500 and it doesn't cold a candle to the hottness you got. I bet riding that was like ... oh never mind :)

Anonymous said...

awesome new bike. Congrats. Enjoy and ride it in great health.

..and I did not realize you were a dad. What an adorable little girl you have. If she ever makes it to the East Coast one day for college or to , uhh, make her way on B'way, I might have some slightly older knights in shining armor (current ages 7 and 9) to look after her.


J-Wim said...

Smoking hot ride.
I just bought a couple bikes from the Row myself last month.