Guess what I’m thinking about…
I’ve been sitting on my butt for 3 weeks now, and I’m going a bit stir crazy. Yes, sewing class is thrilling and all, but it’s not quite as physical as I would like. So today I rummaged through my garage and found my trusty 19 year old mountain bike. (yikes 19 years old!)
So, in the back of my head the word triathlon occasionally swirls around. But I quickly hush it up because while I’m a decent swimmer (in that I won’t drown and open water swims don’t intimidate me), the thought of having to park at the local YMCA scares the bejesus out of me. Too many aggressive drivers. In obnoxiously large SUVs. I digress.
Anyways, with all my new found non-running time, I’ve learned of duathlons! Run a little, bike not so far, and run a little bit more! Holy cow, I can do this. Except that my bike is a mountain bike. I thought about this for a few days and determined I didn’t want to invest in a new bike–cripes, my 19 year old bike probably has fewer than 100 miles on it. But it did need road tires. And maybe some drop handle bars.
So today, I somehow folded my full-size 54cm frame bike into the back of my mini cooper, and went off to PT, thinking I’d find a bike shop on the way. Of course, my PT guy knows a guy who has his own bike shop within a few blocks of PT. Serendipity!
I brought my bike over and explained the predicament. Old, but still good bike. Interested in trying some of these types of races, but don’t want to make a huge investment. Not looking to win, but just be able to go forward with some semblance of coordination.
Oscar (the bike shop owner) crunched some numbers: $50 for two new road tires/inner tubes. $79 for a tune up. And about $350 to change out the handlebars (new handlebars incorporate the gear shifters, which I would need to replace the back gears as I only have 7 whereas most bikes now have 8). Yikes! I opted for the tune up and new tires, and then I asked him if changing out the handle bars would be worth it, or should I invest in a new bike. And this was worth everything–according to Oscar, the components on my 19 year old bike were top of the line then, and still close to the top now. If I were to buy a bike with components of equal caliber, I’d have to spend over $1600. Seeing as my new bike budget is in the $0 range, this gave me food for thought. If I do a duathlon or two, and find it enjoyable and think I’ll do more than 2 or 3 a year, then maybe I invest in drop handlebars. If I do a duathlon or twelve or thirteen and find that I’m a super duper pro at it, then maybe I get myself a new expensive bike (found used on Craig’s list). Not having drop handlebars isn’t a deal-buster. As Oscar said, drop handlebars make the rider so much more aerodynamic, and you’ll ride faster with less effort. As someone who truly afraid of speed, sitting more upright isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Best yet–Oscar called just after sewing class, and my bike is all done! So I may not be running this weekend, but I’ll be outside, on my bike.