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Buying Your First Bike and What to Expect in a Bike Race

A Reader Buys Her First Bike and Preps For a Bike Race

Being a beginner cyclist didn't stop FitSugar reader bjeanne18 from participating in a 15k bike race! She shares what it was like to shop for a bike and prep for her big race day in our FitSugar Community.

The 15K bike race was part of the Corporate Challenge. I signed up for the bike race and a 5K run and they are the first races I've ever competed in as long as you aren't counting elementary school where I was downright legit at the water balloon relay. Word.

I probably got into biking around January when the BF and I decided to look into getting bikes. We went to our local Richardson Bike Mart and told the salesman we were total newbs and looking for beginner bikes. He nods his head as if he understands us and says, "Ah yes, so the sub-$1000 range." Sub-$1,000?! Um, wow. I really was under the impression a $300 bike was a lot of money. I mean, I still have to be able to afford shoes.

So I get completely schooled/versed on bikes and read a lot of stuff online but I still can't part with the money for a nice road bike — I ended up going with a hybrid Men's DiamondBack but I absolutely love it. It cost me a little less than $300 from Sports Authority and came with a free tune-up in the first year. I like that my seat is more cushion-y than actual road bikes and that my handles bend back slightly so I can sit up straight when I'm riding. It's a lot more comfortable. 

Read on to learn more about bjeanne18's bike race prep.

That being said, racing is not about being comfortable, so I decided to rent a road bike for my race. I was able to pick up the bike a day early which was a fabulous idea since I'd never ridden an actual road bike before — but how difficult could that be?

Very difficult.

The first 20 minutes spent on the bike involved me thinking to myself on repeat, "Please don't die! Please don't die!" There was also a, "Why am I not wearing knee pads? Elbow pads?" and an, "Eeeekkkkk!"

The bike was measured to create an optimal angle on my leg when riding, but this meant that it was slightly too tall for me to really stand over the seat — I kinda had to hop on and off which was even more difficult considering the fact that these Trek road bikes don't have kick stands. I am clumsy. So clumsy I had the guy trade out the strap-in pedals for regular ones before I'd leave the store. I don't need to be tied down to my bike when we both go down. Sorry, every man for himself.

Find out how bjeanne18 fared in her first bike race at her blog, Everything's Better With Sparkles, and share your own fitness journey in our Fit Community!

Source: Thinkstock
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