I own a road bike now. Her name is Isabelle. I ride her several times a week. I used to think that was a funny turn of phrase. I’ve killed it because it’s really not that funny anymore.
Before I bought Isabelle, I had been strictly a mountain bike rider. Every bike I’ve owned since I turned maybe 10 or so has been a mountain bike. Sure, I had ridden road bikes with the curved handlebars a few times, but those were my parents – they were old, not in great shape and a last resort. And with my familiarity being to the shape/feel/ergonomics of a mountain bike, they just felt weird to ride.
For those who have never ridden a road bike, let me tell you a road bike is a fairly big adjustment.
Yes, it’s still a bike, and the basic premise remains the same – you pedal and build up speed to keep the machine vertical.
But road bikes are so narrow. My first few turns around my neighbourhood were, while not exactly hairy, less than comfortable than my old mountain bike.
And let me tell you about the brakes. A few times on my first commute to work, I felt I needed to brake quickly, so I reached for my brakes – on the top of the handlebars where there are no brakes.
Like I said, these road bike things are an adjustment.
Then there are clipless pedals and shoes. You know the ones – you clip your shoes onto them so you are attached to your bike. I have fallen three times because I could not unclip fast enough.
Isabelle is a cruel mistress who insists on dumping me, but I will not be deterred.
And she is gorgeous!