Monday, April 30, 2007

Bike Source rant

Before I forget about it, I need to get my frustrations with Bike Source off my chest. I bought my last bike there 3 years ago and had horrible service (was basically handed my bike and hustled out the door with no fit or help of any sort), so I wasnt too keen on giving them any more business. But, they had my Cervelo and it was on sale. So I figured I could just purchase it from them and then take it to Trek for any service it needs. When I went in a week ago to order it, the guy helping me was REALLY helpful. His name is Hunter, if anyone is looking for a good sales person there. So he sort of redeemed the store for me. Well, when I went in on Friday to pick up my bike, he and three other guys were standing at the front counter. Hunter and another guy were helping a customer, so the two other kids were left to help me. It took them about 20 seconds to aknowledge that I was standing in front of them, and when I told them I was there to pic up a bike that had been transferred in from another store, they were totally confused. After about 30 seconds of racking their brains about what to do, one of them says to the other "so, um, I guess call the other store to make sure they have it in stock.....". No, I am here to PICK UP A BIKE. It is HERE. They were still confused. Hunter recognized me, and handed them my claim check, which was sitting right there. They started typing something into the computer, and were again confused, this time because I had made a 20% deposit and they didnt know how to ring me up. Finally they got it figured out, I paid, and one of them rolled my bike up and gave me a look that pretty much said "here you go, see ya!". No. You are going to switch my pedals and bike computer over from my old bike, and I'm going to get a fit. They were AGAIN confused. What!? Offer service to a customer that is purchasing an $1800 bike?? That is pretty much the exact same thing that happened when I bought my previous bike, except that I was too inexperienced to insist on some assistance. So I rode a poorly fit bike for over a year until I figured out I needed to take it elsewhere to have it set up.

At that point, another employee came up and said that he would get my pedals and bike computer switched over, and fit me on my bike. I wish I remembered his name, because he was the only other person working there that seemed to know anything. As I was walking around waiting for my bike to get set up, pretty much every employee came up and asked if I needed anything. When I said that my bike was being set up, one of them said "oh yeah! That P2 back there, that's pretty sweet!". Um, no. I wish it was a P2, but unfortunately, I do not have another $1500 to spend.

Here is my beef. The average age of the employees seemed to be about 18. Thats fine. But if you are going to hire people to work in a bike shop where customers are dropping thousands of dollars, hire people that know what they are doing and who know the meaning of customer service. I get better service at the Limited when I am just shopping for an $80 pair of pants. Do not hand me a $1800 bike and expect me to just leave. I was standing there holding my old bike, obviously I had it for a reason. Ask if I need help setting anything up. Ask if I need a fit. Ask if I have any questions. Or better yet, OFFER to set it up and get me fit. I shouldnt have to ask for it. Triathletes, and cyclists in general, are typically willing to spend big bucks on their bikes and upgraded components. If I want to purchase a new set of wheels, or anything else to upgrade my bike, I wont be doing it from Bike Source. It's unfortunate that they insist on hiring such poor employees. In the last 3 years, I have encountered a total of TWO who were helpful and knowledgable. Thats not a good statistic.

I love my bike!!

Yesterday morning I did the Trolley Run, then took a nap before taking my bike out for it's first ride. I was really nervous about riding it, and now I have no idea why. I guess I was afraid that I wouldnt be able to figure out how to shift and break. There was nothing to be afraid of! I had no idea that it could be so much fun to be on a bike, and I had no idea how much difference a well made bike makes. I first took it out to South Creek Office Park to ride it around on the internal roads and empty parking lots. It took me about 2 loops around a parking lot to get the hang of shifting and breaking, and then I spent about half an hour riding it back and forth on the main road that goes through the complex. I had also been worried about only having 2 chain rings on the front, since I typically rode in the middle ring on my old bike and I made frequent use of the granny ring on hills. I'll admit, I dont understand gearing and the numbers that go along with it. 53-11? WTH does that mean? It means nothing to me. All I know is that I was cruising along a flat road, on the big ring, going 23 mph+ and had no problems. Me, Julie the slow poke! Being aero was more fun than I ever thought it could be, and shifting was a breeze. I was even taking corners at about 20 mph in my aero bars....I've never been able to do that before! This bike just handles so well. And maybe part of it was mental too, I'm sure it was. I had so much fun out there that I decided to take my bike down to Heritage Park and ride the bike course. That was even more fun! The portion of the course on Pflumm is a little hilly, and I rode the hills sitting up. I'm still a little shaky reaching up to shift while I'm sitting up, but that will come with practice. The portion inside the park is pretty much all downhill and I just FLEW! Everything about this bike is so smooth, I cant believe what a difference it makes. And the rear cog makes that cool "ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch" sound when I'm walking my bike around. Its the little things :) Definitely the best money I've spent in a long time!

Monday, April 23, 2007


I made the leap and put down a deposit on a Cervelo Dual. Bike Source didnt have my size frame in stock, but one of their other stores had it, so it's being transferred and will be here by the end of the week. Yippee! But I must admit, I'm a little nervous about riding it. The set up is totally different than what I'm used to, and when I was sitting on one at the store Friday it really hit me. The shifters are up here, and the brakes are over here, how do I use them both?!? I guess I'll figure it out :)

Friday, April 20, 2007


In the interest of being financially responsible, I had waited until now to order my new bike so I wouldnt have to charge it. Paying cash is better than charging something, right??? Well, turns out that the bike I want (a Felt S22) is completely out for the entire season. The manufacturer is not making any more, and the ones they have in production right now are already spoken for :( Guess I'm not the only one that thinks it's a kick ass bike. So I came up with a plan B pretty quickly so I wouldnt miss out on any other bikes. I think I'm either going to go with a Cervelo Dual, or a Quintana Roo Kilo. Both are good bikes, but the Cervelo is looking better based on the reading I've done. I've found one in stock in my size, so I'm going to go look at it tomorrow and hopefully come home with it. I'm just pissed that I missed out on the Felt! I had my heart set on it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Crisis averted?

So, the weather on Saturday was cold and sleeting, so I decided to skip the Runners Edge and run on Sunday since it was supposed to be sunny and in the 60’s. The joys of living in Kansas! I only had 10 miles to do, which isn’t a big deal to do on my own. I stretched out my IT bands really well with the foam roller and set out on my run. I was feeling really good, no knee or hip pain, the “heat” wasn’t bothering me, it was just a comfortable run. Then about half-way into it, my right foot started hurting suddenly. I didn’t do anything to cause it, so I figured maybe it was just cramping up and I stopped to stretch it. The pain was on the outside of my foot, kind of below and in front of the knobby ankle bone. I was able to run another mile or so before it just go too painful and I had to walk. Every time I put pressure on my foot, it shot pain through my whole foot and up my ankle. Not good! So I hobbled back home and iced it right away. I was so frustrated! I had gotten the blister problem under control, I had the IT band issue under control, and now this. It hurt for the rest of the day, and was still pretty painful on Monday. I did some reading on the internet, and I’m about 95% certain that it’s a stress fracture. Since there is really nothing to be done for that except ice and rest, I decided to do that for the rest of the week, and if it’s still bothering me next week I’ll go to the doctor then. It was feeling a lot better yesterday, and today there is no pain. I’m continuing to ice it every night, and no running or riding all week. Saturday I have a 12 mile run planned, so we’ll see how it does then. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be fine!!
I’m confident that I am wearing the right shoes, I had the guys at Garry Gribbles fit me and they feel good. So I don’t think that is the issue. I guess all this pounding on the pavement can’t be good for your feet regardless, so I’m sure that’s the cause. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen during my IM training! I feel OK taking a week of right now because my running base is there, and I’m in my taper anyway.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Oh yeah, I rocked 20 miles!

Ok, so I got my 20 miles in on Saturday!! Being that my 18 mile run 2 weeks ago had not gone well, and I hadn’t run all week due to night meetings for work, I was a little nervous. Not to mention we lost our spring weather and it was in the 30’s and VERY windy for our start! But I made my self stay positive and tried not to think about how long 20 miles really is. One nice thing about starting our runs at 6:30 am is that we get to see the sunrise, so that was a nice way to start off the run. We were in residential neighborhoods for most of the first 5 miles, then we went through Ironwoods Park for about a mile and a half, before getting back into more neighborhoods. The 20 mile turn around point was at about 135th & Roe…..not too far from our starting point at 135th & Metcalf. It was a little tempting to just take 135th back over to where my car was :) But I knew I needed to stick it out. I was feeling really good up to about mile 13, and then my IT band started bugging me. My left side has been giving me problems, and this time it was my right side. Go figure! I knew that last time I had really done myself in with the negative thinking, so I just focused on staying positive. As cheesy as it is, I really love motivational quotes, so I kept a few of my favorites going through my head to drown out the discomfort in my hip and knee. And that’s all it was, discomfort, not pain.

A little before the turn around point, the two girls I was running with ended up getting ahead of me, so I was running by myself, and with no music. I knew I needed to keep my own pace, so I didn’t mind letting them go. By the time I got back to Ironwoods Park, I was glad to find a port-a-john because I’d been making good use of the Gatorade at the aid stations. As I got back into the neighborhoods, I caught up with another girl who was doing 20 miles, and we finished out the last few miles together. We were both pretty beat by that point, but keeping up a conversation really helps the miles go by faster. It took me 4:25 to finish the whole thing, which is a little over a minute/mile slower than my goal pace. But, I’ve gotta figure in the time I spent at the aid stations, and my pee stop. My second half was only about 5 minutes slower than my first, so I didn’t slow down TOO much. AND, the blistering on my feet was minimal! No more huge pinky toe blisters! I was pretty darn sore after that run, but I’m definitely feeling a lot more confident for Lincoln. 20 miles will be at the turn around point on the out and back portion of the marathon course, and I know I can always make it back to the start after I turn around. I don’t even think being DFL would bother me, I’ll just be happy to finish!