“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.” – Andrew Jackson, US president; quoting French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte
On Wednesday, I walked from work to a nearby bike shop. This was my second bike shop visit. I also went to a small shop near my house last week. Inside the one near work, there were three levels of bikes all the way around the perimeter of the store – more than 600 assembled bicycles actually. I walked slowly in front of the tiers of bikes. At first, I declined help from an inquiring salesman, but upon being asked a second time, I decided to speak up. “I’m a runner that wants to get into triathlons,” I said, and the young and trendy, polite bike shop dude nodded knowingly.
He was very helpful and told me that $500 wasn’t going to cut it for a brand-new quality bike. He also explained why a carbon fork is better (less vibration on the handlebars), and answered other random questions I had.
You know what? It’s okay to be a noob. If you don’t know something, ask someone. Read about it. Heck, I started buying Triathlete magazine and I won’t be doing one till next year. (I’m a nerd.) Just dive in to the subject. “Stop thinking and go in.”
The bike shop employee showed me the cheapest they had, a pretty black and purple Giant road bike that was $700, not including pedals. I didn’t know pedals aren’t included in a bike purchase. Sort of a necessity for a bike, right? This seems like a rip to me, but I guess this is how it’s done.
I left the shop after about 15 minutes to get back to work. As I walked back, really high numbers swirled around in my head. Maybe I’m old and cheap, but I thought $500 could buy me a pretty nice bike. But now, with the smell of rubber bicycle tires still lingering in my nose, I wanted one more than ever.
“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.” – French writer Andre Gide
I don’t know if it’s the idea of riding a bike so much as the idea of a new adventure. Nothing against running, I still love it, but part of the reason I started running was that it was a journey to go on. Now, I’ve done the half marathons and the full. I’ve done relays. I’ve done trail runs (although not enough). I’ve done the PR thing. I’ve done the injuries. I’m ready for something new.
When I was in high school, one of my mom’s friends was a triathlete. Not just a triathlete – an Ironman. I bet she’s still competing. She’s still kicking butt in my mind – she’s an inspiration. I also recently found out that one of my friends from childhood that I used to swim with just completed Ironman Coeur D’Alene. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in many years, but was proud when I found out.
Maybe this is a separate blog post, but I think we return to the types of “play” (hobbies) we loved as a child. Growing up, I rode bikes all the time – yes, I had one with a banana seat, but then later got a 10-speed and that’s what I used in my first (and only so far) triathlon in the 8th grade. Swimming was a also huge part of my childhood.
I hope to swim Friday. Maybe I’ll ride my new bike, too. Yep, I am going to look at a used 2006 Giant OSR3 I found on Craigslist. It’s blue and I am already in love with it even though I have not even ridden it yet. Apparently, I am third in line for this bike, but none of the other people have set up times to test ride it. SO, cross your fingers they don’t decide to before Friday morning.
I have a feeling it’s mine, though. I just have a feeling that Big Blue will be the start of something good – another journey filled with discovery and learning more about myself.