One more bike…

Any bike junky will agree, there is always room for one more bike, and all it takes is the tiniest excuse to ignite the insatiable New Bike Fire. I admit my addiction. No 12 Step program on the planet can cure it and I have no desire to change. Usually, I shamelessly seek out the excuse – faster stronger lighter tricker newer shinier prettier cooler – whatever! Once the fire is stoked, it burns ’til the Brown Santa arrives with the Fix. Every once in a while though, the fire is lit by necessity. No, I didn’t break my bike, it wasn’t stolen, worn out or outdated; my beautiful Genius Diablo was just not fast enough – not up against true TT bikes anyway. I found out the hard way on a blazing hot weekend in Chico, CA.
Road stage racing was a new venture for me this season. My fitness was peaking and I wanted to test myself, so I signed up for the Chico Stage Race, which consisted of a 45 mile road race on Saturday, a Crit on Sunday morning and finished up with a 10 mile Time Trial in the afternoon. Saturday was hot. Africa hot. It was 100 degrees on the start line, and about 120 in my shiny black mountain bike shoes. I was ready for it though and I ended up winning the road race – my first road win ever! Re-hydration and sleep had me good to go for the Sunday morning Criterium, where I took second place by a bike length – my best crit finish ever! A mistake on the last lap cost me the win, but I had earned a 30 second time bonus for winning the road race, and had captured all the time bonus primes in the crit, so I was feeling confident and strong sitting in 1st place overall before the afternoon Time Trial.

I rolled up to the start of the TT on my trusty Diablo, knowing all I had to do was hold my own to win the overall. Looking around, I realized I was the only girl at the start line without a proper TT bike. Surprise Surprise – the other girls had metamorphosized into aero aliens between races! What the heck, how much faster could they be? 3… 2… 1… GO! Off I went and before I new it, I could see the wavy heat mirage finish line through the sweat stinging my eyes. I had a good ride and I felt like I had left everything on the shimmery-hot blacktop. It wasn’t ’til my eyes uncrossed enough to see the finishing times that I realized that I had brought a knife to a gun fight. I was over 2 minutes out of 1st in the TT and had dropped to 2nd place in the overall. Damn! I knew these ladies were not faster than me; I had proven that two races in a row! Obviously, they had the right equipment and it made all the difference in the end.

Needless to say, the new bike lust flared in my brain and bowels like a mouthful of wasabe dipped habaneros! And once again, my heros at Unreal Cycles came to my rescue, soothing the burn with a gorgeous cool Genius Cronometro and sick tubular carbon Grammo wheels – even the name sounds fast! With just a couple of hiccups in the build process, I was ripping up the pavement on my new TT bike! During the first ride, it became obvious how big a difference the aggressive positioning and aero nature of the Cronometro made in my overall speed. Ok, now I need to race this beauty! Since I have to wait a year for a do-over of the Chico Stage Race, I am going to spend some serious TITS (time in the saddle) getting used to the new position. My first TT race is coming up next week! Stay tuned!

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