This coming saturday will be one month since I purchased my new bicycle frame. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. As much as a pry myself on staying a safe distance away from materialism, this is one thing I feel comfortable with splurging on. Not only have I made a step in a forward-moving, beneficial way as far as quality, weight, and strength are concerned, I also found the most comfortable fit on a bike thus far. So many chances have been as a result of these two factors. So much so that it is hard to pinpoint what I enjoy most about my new bike.
Without further adieu, to those who haven’t seen me on my new wheels, I own a BMC 2013 team machine SLR01. Due to my lack of photogenetics and task-oriented riding schedule (which will be included once the bikes is finished being introduced) I managed to take two photos of the bike since it has been built.
If I had to summarize my experience on this machine in seven words or less they would be,
“Comfy, stiff, light, responsive, and good-looking.”
Although my fit measurements on this were kept the same as my old bike, there are very distinct benefits that come from swapping the frame. There is less road vibration in the bike due to its stiff build. My sprints are much quicker in responsiveness due to the more aggressive geometry. I am able to sustain my efforts for longer amounts of time due to the weight reduction. Part of the geometrical difference I noticed right away but couldn’t put my finger on was that the chainstays were shorter than the old bike, resulting in the wheel being closer to the rider. When I am out of the saddle, I don’t feel like I have to wind the bike up to get a good acceleration going. I am almost done with the build, but am completely happy with what I have as of right now. With a new set of wheels and a new saddle, this bike will be complete.
To prepare for this upcoming racing season, I have implemented an off-the-bike workout schedule that has escalated since I began in October. To compliment my riding with strengthening of my core and other riding accessory muscles, I have added burpees and six-nineties as my off-the-bike routine. Burpees consist of a mixture of cardio and strength training in the form of how many counts are in your reps. I do an eight count form consisting of a squat, left leg lunch (in a diagonal motion,) right leg lunch (in the opposite diagonal motion,) one push up, back to a squat, followed by two leg lifts. This is one rep. Six nineties are when you lay supine and hold your legs six inches from the floor, then raise them to form a ninety degree angle with your body while keeping your legs as straight as possible. This is one rep. My workout in October consisted of three sets of twenty reps of each exercise twice a week. Then in November I moved up to four sets, twice a day and after the first set, I count to thirty, do my second, count to twenty, do my third, then count to ten, then finish my fourth. Now that December is here I still am doing them twice a day, only I am doing four sets of twenty-five. I would be lying if I said I was able to feel my arms last night.
The reason I brought this up is because while I am doing this, the bike is in my view the entire time. I am able to visualize what all this hard work is for. All the hours spent at work, and all the hours spent on and off the bike to improve the riding experience. Maintaining the visual of ones hard work makes all the early mornings I am sweating in my room, doing something that is painful and physically draining but at the same time justified in my head and worth it when I finally get out and start to ride. I go for walks after most of my meals and have kept an eye out on when and how much I eat. The results have been noticeable on so many levels. As much fun as I’ve had during this school semester, I am counting the days until I have one less thing to worry about other than what I do in relation to the bike (I have three more class sessions for this semester by the way.)
Getting back to the bike, I could not ask for anything more as far as a step up from my previous set of wheels. This bike came into my life at the perfect time. While the parts from my old bike were being transferred on to my new one, we found a big crack in the left seatstay, compromising the integrity of the frame altogether. There goes my hopes of putting together a beater/ cyclocross bike to ride on and off the dirt and to the grocery store.
The racing season is approaching, and I have the routine and determination to do my very best with no regrets. Things are coming into place and I am seeing the results right away. Now that I’ve caught up on writing about my new bike experience, I can focus on more present matters in regards to future events, and training. Take care, see you out on the road!
P.S I would like to thank Serious Cycling for all your support and kindness in all things on and off the bike. Ride!