Saturday, November 10, 2012

My New Best Friend

For most people, the game plan goes something like this:  decide to ride an epic 100 mile bike race.  Pick the Leadville 100.  Get in the lottery (good luck with that).  Get selected.  Buy a new bike for the new adventure.  I did it backwards.  I bought my dream bike and decided that it was made for Leadville.  Enter Leadman to guarantee that I can do the bike race as well as some incredible run races.  Train hard.

It started back in 2011 when Pat and I visited our friends who live in Crested Butte during the Fat Tire Bike week.  Specialized was there with some demo bikes.  I rode my Specialized Stumpjumper to a Leadville 100 finish back in 2001.  My husband rode the same bike to a finish the next year.  That's still my primary bike and needless to say, it's a bit behind the times. Even though it was against my better judgment (we couldn't afford to buy me a new bike and I knew I'd love anything I test rode and it would just torture me to not buy a new bike) I decided to test ride a Specialized Epic 29er, a $10,000 bike.

I can't explain what it was like riding that bike.  You couldn't scrape the smile off my face.  Instead of avoiding any rock bigger than a pebble, I was searching out the biggest, baddest things I could roll my tires over.  The 29 inch wheels were incredible.  This bike rocked.  I was born to ride this bike.  It had a 1x10 gearing set up which I had never seen before but really liked.  I wanted it.  Bad.

Sweet bike

Sweet singletrack for test riding

Happy rider

I sure didn't want to return that bike but I guess taking it home with me wasn't a wise idea (I left my 10 year old Stumpjumper with the Specialized folks as collateral, isn't that a fair trade?)  Needless to say, we left Crested Butte without a new bike and I returned home and continued to ride my faithful Stumpy.  But it was getting more and more difficult. 

Fast forward over a year and things finally fell into place and I was able to get a great deal on a new 2013 Specialized Epic Expert 29er.  My first ride elicited the exact same feelings I had experienced in Crested Butte over a year ago.  I was born to ride this bike.  And this bike was born to take on Leadville.  I decided right then and there that I was going to sign up for Leadman. First time I've had disc brakes and I put them to the full test on Wednesday when I discovered a new trail aptly named Scott's Drop.  It's geared with a 2x10 which I prefer over the 1x10.

For the next couple months my run training is officially going to take a backseat to bike training.  And I have no problem with that.  Buzz and I have many dates planned on the local trails. My new best friend.

Buzz after a muddy ride

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