In March of 2014 I got into triathlon by accident when Chris Busher sold me a barely used 2011 Trek 2.1 road bike for 50 cents on the Dollar. Over the course of two triathlon seasons “Blue” had served me well, and had taken me from my first sprint race, through a century ride and two Half-Iron distance triathlons. Along the way, I’d made some upgrades, which included clip on aero bars, an upgraded saddle and Zipp 404 wheels.
Even though my upgrades had improved Blue’s overall efficiency, there were still drawbacks to using a road bike primarily for triathlons. First, the geometry of a tri-bike is slightly different than that of a road bike, and tri-bike geometry leaves your legs fresher for the run. In addition, a tri-bike has shifters on the ends of the aerobars. The clip-on aerobars that I’d added to Blue didn’t allow me to shift. Thus, every time I needed to change gears I’d have to take one hand off an aerobar and then reach back to press the shifters on the handlebars. Not only did that motion create drag, it was a pain in the ass and not very safe. When you only have one hand on the aerobars, the bike wants to swerve in that direction. There were many mailboxes that narrowly avoided folding me over them on River Road as I shifted from the aero position.
I’d had my eye on tri-bikes pretty much as soon as I got into the sport in 2014, but even entry level bikes will set you back $2,000. If you’re in the market for a superbike, you’d better get ready to spend $12,000 or more. Budgetary restrictions can be a real downer.
Eventually, Busher introduced me to the swim/bike/run sell and trade group on Facebook, which had used bikes coming up for sale every few days. Thank of this as Craigslist for triathletes without the personal ads and without the a-holes trying to convince you that the item you’re selling is essentially worthless so you should just give it them. Have I mentioned that I hate selling anything on Craigslist? The lady who bought my old couches on Craigslist even decided to do a 10-point turn in my yard and rut it up instead of simply backing down the driveway. But I digress…
Anyways, in December 2015 a Cervelo P2 was listed for sale by a guy in Indiana after a single season of use. The MSRP was $2,500, and it was listed for $1,600, which peaked my interest. I emailed the seller and learned that he’d recently gotten sponsored by Trek, which didn’t want him riding a Cervelo – for obvious reasons. That made sense to me and I was interested, but I still didn’t have approval to spend $1,600 on a bike from the boss at home.
To be fair, $1,600 is a lot to spend on a bike, BUT my tri-habit meant that I was no longer spending money on golf (or any other hobby). I have no health club membership due to my bonus room weights (and some Buns of Steel videos – can’t you tell?), and honestly, there are far worse habits that I could have picked up to spend money on other than triathlon. An IV drug habit would cost me $1,600/month easily. I know, I’ve seen Trainspotting. So…taking a page out of my mom’s playbook, I somehow convinced Leigh Anne that we couldn’t afford NOT to get the bike and that we’d somehow be saving money in the long run.
Thus, after spending the better part of a month equivocating over buying the bike, I finally pulled the trigger and sent the funds via Paypal. There was a small hiccup when the seller couldn’t locate the stock wheels that came with the bike, so we agreed upon some upgraded wheels for a very modest increase in the price. A few days later, the new bike arrived in a giant box, which I promptly dropped off at the Richmond Bicycle Studio for assembly. I do have two years of engineering classed under my belt, but I figured that a small fee to assemble the bike correctly was better than having it disassemble beneath me at 30 mph on a downhill.
Soon enough, my lightly used Cervelo P2 was ready to roll. The only thing missing was a name. I solicited names on Facebook, but unfortunately, my Facebook friends were less than helpful in that department. Finally, for no particular reason I decided upon “Selena,” and began training with her for the 2016 season, which would hopefully be filled with PR bike and run splits. Blue had served me well, but it was time to put him out to pasture and to take my racing to the next level.