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For the last year or so Mike and I have talked off and on about getting road bikes. I’ve always had an interest in cycling but as a beginner, getting started is very overwhelming. Mike used to mountain bike every now and then, so he at least knows bike basics and we also have several friends heavily into the tri scene. So with a little guidance from Mike and friends and an impromptu weekend of bike shopping, I came home with a 2011 TREK Madone 3.1.

We got it used from our local bike shop (LBS) so we got a really good deal on a great bike that otherwise would be out of our price range. It’s not WSD (women specific design) but I was assured by many people that sine I’m not exactly petite, I wouldn’t really need WSD. Mike then began his bike search, looking mostly on Craigslist for a good deal, and struck gold when he found the same exact bike for the same price in his size! SOLD!

Of course the bikes were only the beginning. Shoes, pedals, gloves, helmets, clothes, bottle holders, racks. The list goes on and on (and my bank account gets closer and closer to $0). I have Speedplay Light Action Chrome-Moly pedals in pink with Shimano WR-40 shoes and Mike has Shimano 105 pedals with Pearl Izumi Race Rd II shoes. Both of our bikes have Shimano 105 components with Sram Apex cranks.

Today we went for our very first ride on our new bikes (and my first ride ever!) down in Longboat Key. From the Garmin Forerunner 305 in biking mode, we ended up riding 21.38 miles in 1:16:59 with an average moving speed of 18mph and an average heart rate of 153bpm (easy range).

The first 2 miles we were only hitting 15mph, mostly because I’m an amateur and I was a little nervous about being on the road. Then Mike gave me a tip on how to move the pedals, by pulling my foot up instead of pushing it down, and we immediately jumped up to 18mph. I was so glad when we hit our first red light 6.6 miles in and I could stop for a minute to take a breather!

It was an out and back course with a headwind for the first half. After we got turned around and hit up the nicest gas station I’ve ever seen for a potty stop, we cranked out a 20-21mph pace for the last 8 miles. It felt so much easier with a tailwind!

We had a lot of fun and I’m currently looking for some duathlons for fall and triathlons for next spring. As far as my running lately… I have a strained soleus (one of the muscles in the calf) so I’ve been taking it easy with little running (I haven’t actually run in 2 weeks) and my trainers have been modifying me at CrossFit. I’m excited to add the bike into the mix, especially to keep my endurance strong while I ease back into my running mileage.

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