November 7th, 2005

Lance said "It's not about the bike"...But for some of us mere mortals - it sometimes IS.

Important life decisions often have us in mental torment for some time - betwixt and between, waffling about which way to go. Should I get married? Is he really the one? Can I live with this one man the rest of my life? Should I have children? Can I put them first, before myself, for the next 18, 20, 25 years? Do I have the staying power to live through teenagers? And in the end, after all the analyzing - it's a gut decision.

It was that way with the bike... Do I want to spend that much money? Wouldn't it be cheaper just to lose 10 pounds? I'm not a performance cyclist - I just want to ride with friends. And that's what tipped the balance. You see my friends are NOT just casual cyclists - you might call them obsessed! One day STPs and RAMROD are just the tip of the iceberg. Worthwhile goals for them are Masters Classics, or perhaps 600 or 1200 kilometer rides with multiple mountain passes! But without significantly testing my husband's patience and goodwill, I just couldn't devote the necessary time to training to keep up with them. I needed an edge. And many of my female cycling buddies were getting new bikes - shiny new titanium steeds - lighter and faster. And I had a bit of spare cash...

I never really considered going anywhere for another bike besides R&E. The support provided, the care and concern about my picky little issues - they're just the best! And Dan and Smiley had been dropping hints left and right that their new S3 bike was even lighter than titanium! How could I go wrong? And so, in early February the planning started. I gave Scott and Smiley the go-ahead to pick parts and build me just the right bike - afterall, I've been doing business with them for years and they know me well. Paint...hmm - here Chris came up with just the perfect combination while I was dithering. My husband named my bike "Zippy" and Dan sent me emails on Zippy's progress. They even let me come down and see him being built and memorialized it with pictures. I have a "baby Zippy" book!

Ah, but the proof is in the results! In a year when my training has been sporadic, carrying 15 extra pounds (hills are a gravity thing) I still managed to do a 1 day STP and RAMROD with friends and come out smiling! And occasionally - my friends can't drop me.

Lance, sometimes it IS about the bike!