In Pursuit of the Perfect Rodriguez Ride

October 20, 2004

Super Rodriguez Cyclist! Faster than a bolt of lightening! Able to ride over hills with a single pedal stroke!

I wasn't always this way! One year ago I decided to start cycling again after a neck injury. I went to R & E looking for a bike that could be modified so that I wouldn't hurt my neck while I was going through rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Heather S holding her Rodriguez bike at the mile 90 marker on a ride

I was outfitted with a custom Rodriguez Stellar Race with high handlebars I am embarrassed to say, during my first ride on my new bike, I accidentally fell over doing a slow turn and broke my elbow!! Six weeks later the cast was removed and I was back in the saddle again After every 60 miles, I returned to R& E to have my handlebars lowered I was amazed that my neck and my body didn't hurt. This was because the bike fit me perfectly!

Joined the Lymphoma Leukemia Society's Team in Training in July 2003, and started training to participate in the El Tour De Tucson Century Ride, November 2003. I successfully completed my first century ride very comfortably.

100 miles later it was time to have my handle bars lowered and to get new aerodynamic wheels. I started riding faster and feeling stronger! I was spooked (hooked)! Joined Team in Training and rode my Rodriguez Stellar Race in America's Most Beautiful Century Ride ( it is especially beautiful when you are riding a custom fit Rodriguez) in Lake Tahoe, June 2004. successfully completing my second century ride. pain free again! Then Seattle to Portland (STP) double century ride. July 2004. and finished a little sore in the saddle, but not the neck!

Went back to R & E to have my handle bars lowered again arid this time decided it was time to get new drop down handle bars. My neck and body were stronger arid I was ready to feel what it was like to ride faster in an aerodynamic position. Not only did I want drop down handle bars. I Couldn't resist the new lightest Rodriguez bike called the S3. I HAD TO HAVE IT!!! Scott worked with me to create my dream bike. I wanted it to be the lightest bike they ever made!

While waiting for my S3. I participated in Ride Around Washington (RAW), August 2004, completing 440 miles in six days. Several weeks later my telephone rang It was Scott from R & E. He said, It's ready! I was out the door, in the car, shaking in anticipation of riding my new bike. When I arrived I couldn't believe that this awesome 15 pound bike was mine! It was everything I hoped it would be, and more.

My first S3 maiden voyage. The Ride for The Roses Century Ride with Lance Armstrong, Austin, Texas, October 2004. The ride of a lifetime! Surrounded by 6,500 riders from around the world, many of them cancer survivors! I rode strong, wearing my yellow Live Strong bracelet!

I couldn't resist having my picture taken along the roadside in front of the 90 mile marker of the 100 mile ride. What I didn't know was that I was standing in the middle of a hill of Fire ants! If you have never been bitten by fire ants. they don't call them that for nothing! They swarmed my legs and everywhere else leaving me looking like a human polka dot. I was on fire! I couldn't have ridden the last 10 miles to the finish line any faster, on my S3!

So there you have it. My adventures in the pursuit of the perfect Rodriguez ride. If there is such a thing, I have found it, thanks to team R & E. Scott's creative genius in selecting the lightest components, comfortable seat, handlebar and selecting the most incredible vivid metallic blue paint and Rodriguez design, Teresa's incredible, multi-layer, flawless, paint job, Chris's mechanical expertise assembling it and making all the gears shift easily ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride. Smiley's excellent intuitive bike fitting skills, and Dan for employing all these wonderful people at R & E helping make my cycling dreams come true!

What a wonderful year of comfortable cycling it has been. I am off to my one year anniversary El Tour De Tucson Century Ride, November 2004.

Thank you team R & E!!!!!!!

Heather's Signature Heather Simpson