The first step has been taken for my wife. She told me at the end of my MS 150 bicycle ride, from Houston to Austin, TX, that she was wanted to join me next year. I was rather surprised since she always said she just liked being in the “cheering section”.
Well I brought it up again the next day and she was still wanting to participate in it. We looked at a few bikes online and at Mellow Johnny’s in Austin. There was a lot of eye candy in that store, bikes I was absolutely drooling over (including a Surly Long Haul Trucker with down tube shifters).
Anyway, fast forward a week or two and the next thing I know we are looking at bikes at the local shop. My wife is not exactly a girly girl. She does not want flowers on her bike, she does not want girly car (she drives a Mustang GT with 2-chamber Flowmasters for crying out loud), and she does not want a purple or pink bicycle. We looked at a few in the store to figure out a good geometry for her. The LBS carries two brands, Trek and Specialized. I told her we could hit up another shop if she wanted to try different bikes.
She first sat on a Specialized bicycle. It was a man’s bicycle, but she could fit on it. She took it for a spin and she said it was okay. I got her on a Specialized Dolce next, and she was fighting that bike at low speeds. She did say it was pretty comfortable. Next I got her on a Trek Lexa. She loved how stable it was. She told me how bad the Specialized felt at low speeds. I thought she may have just not been used to a road bicycle, so I got on it. Wow, that Dolce was insanely twitchy. I had to give it so many steering inputs just to keep it on line at a low speed. I immediately hopped on the Lexa she was on, and the bike felt like it was on a rail in comparison.
She decided on the Lexa, but was not sure which model she wanted. We called it a day and I started researching them. I wanted a bicycle she felt comfortable on. If a road bike does not inspire confidence, it will never be ridden like it should be. If the rider is afraid of crashing or just not liking the bike, that rider will not ride as much as a person who loves their bike would. So, with that, I looked at the different Lexa models. The base model is a Lexa, then Lexa S, then Lexa SL, and finally the SLX. The first two have the Shimano 2300 shifters and the Sora shifters, respectively. Those are those annoy thumb actuated shifters. You know the kind, the ones you can ONLY shift from the hoods. I overlooked those two bikes.
Next on the list was the SL. The SL is pretty much the women’s equivalent to the Trek 1.5 (which is what I own). I figured that would be a good starting point. Now the SLX had Shimano 105’s on it for only an extra $200. I jumped all over that. Not only is that a better gruppo, but it also gives her an extra gear out back. That will help her on the longer rides.
I placed the order. Well that was last week. The bike is currently at our house. She is really excited about riding it. I am excited about riding with her and teaching her how the bike works. I promised her that I will ride next to her for the whole MS 150. I want it to be a good experience for her. I hope she likes it, it will be nice to have a riding buddy who is not interested in beating the time from last year. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just nice to slow the pace down some every now and again to “smell the flowers”. It will be nice to do that next year.
Sorry, no pictures of the bicycle, yet. I shall snag some this weekend and post them up. I will also get some of my Transport and post those as well.
Ride on my friends.