Day’s Verse:
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

More biking in today’s post. Skip it if you don’t want bike buzz.

Today I test rode a Jamis Xenith (or here…hmm…). I didn’t know bikes came with rocket boosters, but I’m telling you, compared to my loaded commuter bike, that Jamis flew. It was incredibly fun riding up hills on a bike that weighed significantly less than 20 lbs. The next step is to try out some comparable models from other brands and see what suits me. Then I lurk around Craigslist and wait for a bike of the model I like and the size I need to come available at a price I can afford. Fortunately I have until July. It could very well take that long to have all the stars align. So if any women readers want to get rid of a 51 cm carbon fiber bike, let me know, OK?

Why, you may ask, am I test riding fast carbon fiber road bikes? Well, the answer is simple…and complicated at the same time. The short answer is that this year, I’m setting a goal of riding RAMROD this year. Dad did it last year. It’s about 150 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing as you ride around Mt. Rainier in a day. In 2010 I didn’t set any ride goals, and I ended up grinding along my commutes, the same thing every day, day in and day out. It was depressing, and I forgot how much fun it was to go fast because I never went fast. I just chugged along to my destination. Biking felt like a chore, and that’s a sad state of affairs. On top of which, I know that I overtrained and ended up just exhausted, not stronger. This year, I’m freed from bike commuting by and large, since the only job on my horizon is a very tiny cloud made of Bike Alliance teaching, which will require driving to the classes. I’m excited to have a real goal to work towards, something challenging but not impossible, that will feel like a real achievement when I succeed.

So I’m going to do RAMROD. But I’d like to ride a lighter bike. Artemis is good, but she’s heavy, quite a bit heavier than I’d want to lug up and down the passes around Mt. Rainier (not to mention the hills I’m going to have to ride just to train!). We built her tough, not light. Nothing I could think of would dramatically reduce her weight, either (I doubt that the even the Atkins Diet could melt away those pounds). I think I can get a decent lightweight road bike for under $2,000 on Craigslist. It’ll be a project. And I am looking forward to having a Fast Bike so I can keep up with Dad on all those hills.

Today I also had a long meeting about Bike Alliance/Feet First curriculum development for the classes we’re doing for PE teachers in 2011/2012. It was the most overall productive meeting I’ve been to in a long time. Now I have a good mandate of what I need to do for BAW for the next couple weeks. I’ll just have to squeeze it in between bike rides.

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