Katie and I (or probably just me) are so very proud to announce the arrival of a new bundle of joy to our home. My new bike:
It's a Felt Z85 and it is so sweet. Over the past year, I have really gotten into road biking. I had been a novice mountain biker when I lived in North Carolina, but the closest, decent mountain biking trail is about an hour away. With a road bike, I just strap on the gear and go. When the weather cooperates, I try to ride a bike to work. It really isn't that far (5.37 miles according to g-maps-pedometer, but who is counting). I have been taking the kids on a ride in their little trailer after work. And whenever time allows, and Katie is really good about giving me the time (I love you, Katie. Thank you!) I go for a good 15-30 mile bike ride. For the past year, I had been doing this on a mid-80's Peugout (Black Beauty) that Matt Brooks had given to me in NC, when he was moving to Hawaii. The bike was old, but still functioned alright. But with greater use, the bike really started to develop some nagging problems: broken derailleur, cable problems, and this terrible creaking noise in the stem when I really started pushing hard. All of these are repairable problems, but at what cost (definitely more than the bike is worth). I was also more than little envious of some of the new technology that has come about in biking in the 25 years since my bike was made. The Peugout has a steel frame, the shifters are located on the down tube and it has just regular old pedals. So I started doing some research (I will spare you the details and grandeur of some of the bikes I was looking at) and came up with the Z85. Felt is far from the best known bike maker, but in the end I believe that is to my benefit. On this particular bike, I have an aluminum frame with carbon fork and stays, it comes with Shimano 105 drivetrain (compared to the Sora or Tiagra of similarly priced bikes), and I was able to purchase a cateye computer, speedplay pedals, and road shoes, for less than some people pay for an inferior product. (To Felt representatives: royalties can be sent yours truly. You're welcome.) Now all of this did require a significant investment on my part. I decided to forgo any Christmas gifts in favor of cashola and, sadly, I was forced to trade-in my mountain bike (Altogether now, "Aaaahh.), but I had not ridden it in 2 years except for when the Peugout was on the mend. But look look at what I got for it (seriously scroll back up the page and look at my bike!). Full disclosure: I haven't even been able to ride this bike outside of the shop yet, but the weather is improving and one day soon, it will be ridden, oh yes, it will be ridden.
I have been planning on a 46 mile ride for the local Lions club chapter in May (this ride is preceeded by a 10K the day before)and in June, if all works out with work, I will be riding 175 miles in a single weekend. I am still keeping the Peugout for rides to work (who would bring their new baby to work?) and rides with a trailer attached, plus I never know if Matt Brooks will show up wanting his bike back.
Now, I know all of you would enjoy showering our new baby with gifts and I would encourage you to do so. Good gift ideas include: cloth diapers for wiping her down after a good ride, chain lube (it's like diaper cream for bikes), and maybe a nice soft blankie in case she gets cold.