I grew up in a house with pretty well -- um -- voiced political opinions. I think Dad started out in his marriage on the other side of the political fence, but Mom taught him the error of his ways. Personally, I've spent years upon years working in policy in DC and consider myself darn well informed. And occasionally articulate. My Lil'Sis? She's our Congress Connection. I won't tell you exactly where she works, but let's just say it has an awful lot to do with how our nation's money is being spent.
So, when in doubt, I say
That's right. Go bureau-craptastic on the problem. Need a fix? Something falling apart? Line Item A Solution. Add-on. Attach. MARK IT UP, BABY!
And that's the way I've decided to deal with my triathlon problems. Throw. Cash. Around. *
Without going into the painful details as to my autopsy of my final tri of the season (and YES I really, really am working on a race report...REALLY!), there was something that I believe to be true.
As much as I love my Banana, I need an upgrade. Big time. I got Banana way back in something like 2000 to do the AIDSRide. She's a great lil' road bike and has taken me lovely places. Usually slowly, but I'm okay with that. So far, I've only really cared about getting to the end, not how long it takes me to get there.
I've decided that a 7 year old bike with the original touring components really isn't going to be good enough any more. I wants me some speed.
Did you hear that?
I WANTS ME SOME SPEED, GOOSE!
But I need your help. As Britney would say, I need help from all y'all. (Oh, and btw, she does. Please. Send help.) I need some advice on which bikes to look at. Here are the gory details that matter...
I'm short. As in 5'4" short.
I'm heavy. As in 164 lbs heavy.
I'm, um, limited in financial resources. As in I'm capped at $1800 for this purchase. I KNOW! Not much, but I'm hoping to take advantage of models being phased out for the new 08 bikes or even getting an 06 model.
I live right near a great bike shop that could easily build up a frame if that's the way to go (e.g., buying frame/components/bars/etc. separately). And, I have all winter to find good deals on shtuff.
I live kinda close to a triathlon shop (Cadence in Philly), but I'm nowhere near the price range of bikes they sell there and I don't have an extra few hundred to go in for a consultation. Seriously...where are all the tri shops for broke folk?
And, like most women, I have my preferences....
I love my current tri saddle, from Terry.
I like S-bend aero's better than L-bend, although I haven't tried either with bar-end shifters. That could make a difference.
I'd like a kinda good set of wheels. Not crazy good, just something that is reliable and doesn't stick to the road like molasses. (Stop with the flat tire jokes, okay? Really. That's rude... .)
I have a thing against 650s. I don't know why, but I'd love to be able to stay away from them if I can.
I think components make the difference in the experience of riding hills (which I simply can't get away from out here). I never knew I had basement bargain components on Banana and now realize the mistake. (You mean gears aren't supposed to sound like a garbage disposal going up climbs? No?) Won't make that mistake again. Ultegra is fine, 105 is fine, Dura Ace is drool worthy.
There you have it. It's time to shop.
I've found one bike that I keep going back to -- again and again. It's the Trek Equinox 7 WSD (women specific design). And it's perdy. No...it's beautiful. And it has a carbon fork. And Bontrager Select Aero wheels. It has Dura-Ace shifters, 105 derailleurs, and a Bontrager crank. And, and, and...
And I think I would look MIGHTY FINE on top of this little baby.
More that might be good for me?
* Okay, to be fair...I actually don't believe that this is a real solution to real problems and I actually think there's some pretty lousy money management going on in DC and I have a thing about waste. Something to do with "waste not want not." But it works for triathlon!