Jank’s Road Bike Buyer’s Guide

This has come up a couple of times via e-mail, so I thought I’d throw it out for general discussion. Your mileage may vary; this is just my bit. Full disclosure – I’ve bought a grand total of two road bikes in my life – a second-hand Trek for $140, cash, and a 2001 Cannondale for about $1200. Most of this is second-hand experience with folks I rode with, mainly in Texas, and from talking with folks at bike shops.
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So I’m taking this “FUN” thing about as seriously as I ought to. Did I sweat not being able to sneak out for more than one workout last week, despite a cold and a bunch of work? Nope – I hit my priorities, spent great time with the kids, and got a bunch accomplished at home.

Did I sweat that I had probably a couple too many cookies out of the galley while out on a too-small boat in the middle of january? Nope, figured that all the rocking and rolling was somewhat akin to doing crunches all day, and ended up back at 172, from a post-Christmas high of 174.

And this afternoon – had a couple of bang-up meetings, cleared out of the office early-ish, and headed to Bluff Point for what’s probably the best run I’ve had by myself in 2006.

I suppose the weather should have fallen into the “sucks” category, ‘cept any time it’s over 50 in January, it’s hard to call suckage. There was an especially cool mist in the air – absolutely spectacular New England gloom, straight out of the first chapter of Moby Dick. But, it’d been warm and sunny all week, so the trails at Bluff Point were solid.

The run was fun – fired up the Nano, clicked on the cruise control, and just kind of let go. The tri book I just finished is big on aerobic base, and going back through last year, I was happiest and making the most progress when I wasn’t fooling around with fancy workouts. So, I ran. Didn’t (much) charge hills. Didn’t (much) try to chase down people. Spent the run reveling.

Got about halfway to the point when I decided to shake things up. Took the fork up to the Winthrop foundation, ran down to the shore, did a little singletrack, looped back around, took another detour, and pretty much just kept running.

Walked for a few minutes when I got tired. Ran somemore.

Flipped on “A Ghost is Born.” Tried to make my ears bleed while listening to “At Least That’s What You Said.” Completely exploded down a hill, through the woods, over rocks as the guitar and keyboards played around with rhythm and melody, always staying on the finest edge between control and chaos. Seriously. Flying.


Darn, I love to run.

50 minutes. A couple of miles (I’m guessing between 5 and 6).

Jake’s decided it’s fun to do calesthenics, too. Yesterday and today before the boys’ bath, we “worked out” in the living room. Nothing much – a dozen or so jumping jacks, situps, pushups, crunches, flutter kicks, triceps dips. Pushups were fun tonight – the little boy (Nate) decided he needed to sit on my back while I did them and say “giddyap”. Laughed when I realized that I was doing pushups with as much total weight on my arms not much more than a year ago.

So that’s pretty much it. If anyone hits the powerball this weekend, or is just feeling particularly generous, I’d love a new MacBook. Not that I’ve got $2K lying around. I’ll probably shell out for a new machine once the iBook goes Intel. Either that, or snag a G4 PowerBook off the refurb line – they’ve got a 12″ w/SuperDrive (DVD RW) coming close to $1000. But, I’d be exceedingly grateful …

That’s about it. Goals for the weekend are two good runs, a clean basement, clean singlespeed and swap out chainring and pedals, new bookshelf for the bedroom, and dinos in New Haven. Oh, and catch up on blogs. I’ve also decided that I’m on the trainer for all of this season of “24”. Not necessarily hitting the trainer hard, but got to give it something.

2006 rocks. Thanks in advance for the MacBook.