I’ve been away from riding my bike since last December. Yeah, the joy of living in Quebec! You just can’t ride your bike here from December to late April. Well, unless you have one that you don’t really care for; a “mullet” as we say in French. The roads are covered with sand and not swept away until May…. Cycling is obviously not a priority around here, our national sport being ice hockey.

Anyway, my Felt has been stripped down from a few major parts.

As you can see, now would not be a bright idea to go for a ride! Note that the wheels you see in the background are not mine. I wish! Pat is actually building himself a second bike with my ex-Felt. For fun. He’ll use either for the rollers, the trainer and maybe for those cruel rainy days. Oh, and yes it is my massage table. Multi-purpose is ok, right?

What about my new bike?  I can assure you that the first thing I will do when I’ll get my Italian beauty (my Izoard from Wilier, known by all of my Twitter friends as Izzy), won’t be to destroy her striking figure with all that vicious road dirt! (By the way, for those who are wondering, she will get here; we do have a date on the 16th of April).

So, every spring, as soon as Pat ( @coachpatwells ) finishes his ski season, we pack our stuff and head south for a few weeks. Virginia or North Carolina.  Clean roads, roller terrain, hills and some serious climbs. Sometimes with a group, sometimes just the two of us, oups, I mean the three of us. Easy drive and we can bring the dog.

Hmm, nothing easy about driving 12 to 20 hours thought, don’t know why I used the word easy, should have written long drive instead. And I’m just Pat’s co-pilot! He doesn’t mind; he loves to drive. Does he really? Maybe he just can’t stand my driving?  I-81 is definitely not the place to test my driving skills. Truck drivers dictate the pace out there. They own the highway! Surreal, especially on rainy nights. You just have to take their wheel and let them pull you safely for a few hours. After all, it is their office. They must know what they’re doing. Crossing my fingers now!

Anyhow, it always freaks me out to start the season elsewhere. Not that I don’t like the sensation of new smooth paved roads, but at that exact same time, I’m usually adjusting to  new bike parts, new gear  and dealing with some kind of injury (I avoid the term condition). Oh, and not on top of my form, like everyone else coming from a long and what seems to be a never-ending winter season.

So, not being on my own roads doesn’t help the lack of confidence I experience during those first rides. I don’t feel as safe on my bike, testing it all at the same time! Of course, I always worry too much. After a few hours, I’m back in my comfort zone, appreciating the delight of just riding a bike!

What’s new this year for me?

  1. A brand new bike
  2. New pedals
  3. New shoes
  4. A new bike fit, eventually. As soon as I can get Izzy home!
  5. Lots of new gear

New is good but boy, do I feel nervous about the sound of it now! Overwhelmed not only by my new ride but more specifically by the new fit. My human frame is very picky… So let’s hope that my spine likes Izzy!

Now, I still have 1 month to hear about all your rides and wait patiently for my first one of the season! I know « jealousy will get me nowhere », like Pat often says…

 To all my cycling friends I say enjoy it and I wish you a happy and healthy 2010 cycling season!

Even Quick is getting ready: Eukanuba gave him a backpack for his vacation!




7 Responses to “Ready?”

  1. 9 mars 2010 à 9:18

    You are one fantastic writer, Mari-Jo….artistic, entertaining, and delightful. I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t truly mean it.
    Thanks for another great read. Wow, this is going to be one fantastic year for you with all your new stuff. I’m so excited for you.
    I know how bad you want to get it all started….here’s to a very early spring.

    • 10 mars 2010 à 7:45

      Artistic, entertaining and delightful! Wow, thank you! Can you see I’m blushing?
      Since writing in English is a challenge in itself for me, I’ll take the compliment!
      Merci encore,

  2. 3 Rickie Rainwater
    9 mars 2010 à 9:28

    I would like to get a good bike fit, but considering Nemo is the only bike I will have for some time, there really isn’t a whole lot that can be changed. Andy Pruitt sums up the bike fit pretty well. A good bike fitter takes into consideration the rider’s flexibility, age, ect when doing a bike fit. Everyone has different characteristics and a good fitter takes these physical characteristics into consideration. I did a fit caculation with a fit calculator and multiple physical measurements before selecting my frame, Stem, Bars. I spent many weeks dialing in my position, and then still feel I am changing physically. Cycling is such an incredibly deep science and art. Izzy, is such a great name.

    • 10 mars 2010 à 7:43

      Hey, Rickie!!
      I need to find a pro bike fitter around here.
      My last one I did while in NC, in Asheville but we’re not going there this year.
      I’m not good at that fit calculation stuff, rather have a pro do it!
      Thanks again for reading, hope Nemo is treating you good!

  3. 9 mars 2010 à 9:59

    Wow… May 16th on Izzy’s delivery? I was hoping it would be there sooner for you. Why so long?
    Anyway… turn that anxiety over all the new stuff into EXCITEMENT! Are you kidding? So many cyclists would love to be in your « new » shoes. Just thinking of all that gear, the new bike and the yearn to pedal… you’re going to have to hold yourself back with reigns like a race horse looking to take the last stretch in a race. What fun! I just wish I could get up to Virginia and tag along on one of your rides one day. There I go inviting myself. Unfortunately, I don’t have the days from work. I’m having to save those for the Pyrenees!

    • 10 mars 2010 à 7:40

      I will get Izzy before that, I just won’t ride her before April the 16th.
      I got no control over the delivery date, but I have stay calm and wait.
      Wouldn’t it be nice to see you in VA, go for a coffee and then do some hills!!
      Meanwhile, those Pyrenees are waiting for you…

  4. 10 mars 2010 à 12:14

    I love reading your blog because of your honest dialog. Your passion for Pat, Quick, Cycling and life – delightful…

    May seems far away, but before we know it you will mount Izzy, clip in new shoos, wearing a great kit and having the biggest smile on your face, and when that happens, be sure that Pat is around, take a picture and share it with all of us.


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