Vive le Tour: A Beautiful Change

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(ORICA-GreenEDGE)

Who knows, maybe it’s just because it’s the Tour de France, maybe it’s because it’s the 100th anniversary of the tour. Either way, I have been glued to NBC Sports this year, and have been dreaming of a shot at riding with the greats.

Before I get too far into my newly discovered dream of pro-cycling, take a moment to watch this animation that explains the history and meanings behind the Tour de France.

Yep, I’m in love with the notion of being a cyclist. As many of you know, I’ve tried my hand at endurance running. With four half-marathons and a full under my belt, I know that running is just a hobby. January will bring a four-day race weekend with races on each day, but that can be saved for a later post.

However, this is what brought me to the point I am at now…

I need something to test my endurance, that isn’t just for fun. Thus, cycling was naturally the next step. I love riding bikes, all bikes. I love seeing new places, even if it means killing yourself to cover ground (I always thought that was half the point of backpacking), so why shouldn’t I be good at this? Competition, pushing your own limits every time you get in the saddle, sign me up!

Unfortunately my wallet crushed my dreams. I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford anything too fancy, and I knew that, for the most part, bikes hold their value pretty well. So I scoured Craigslist and Ebay, searched for discount bike sites and recycled bike shops, only to find that half the bikes I was interested in did in fact retain their value, and still cost well over $400.

With this new found price point, I decided to see what I could find from the big brands, and see how far off I would be from getting a brand new entry level bike, to hopefully launch my amateur career toward pro-cycling.

What I found was demoralizing.

I fell in love with the Specialized Allez Compact. With an MSRP of $770, it’s the closest thing to my budget, but far enough away that I can’t just drop the cash on the table and walk away with it.

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In my sudden state of lament, I naturally took to Twitter. Surprisingly though, not too long after my initial statement, Specialized responded and brightened my day a little.

Specialized Tweets

It may only be two exchanges, but whoever is running the Specialized Twitter account, kudos, you’re good. So now I’m looking forward to talking to a Specialized dealer to see what my options may be. Hopefully the discussion will lead to some information about the NYC Bike Club scene so I can find a group to ride and train with, even if I am on a beater for the time being.

Hopefully I’ll be able to find a way onto the saddle of an Allez soon, but until then, Vive le Tour, and go ride a bike!

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