My brother visited me in New Zealand a year and a half ago and brought his fancy bike with him to do GodZone, one of the world’s most competitive adventure races. I wasn’t jealous until I lifted the bike. It weighed half what mine did.
It’s my bike now, although I’ve hardly ridden it since. But I got it out today for a spin. Is it a coincidence that it’s also the day I signed up for my own chance to tackle GodZone? Probably not.
As I was pulling it out of the shipping container/garage I remembered something Jason had said to my son, Keegan (who was also enamored with the bike) way back during his visit. He’d been revolving the pedals backwards when Keegan asked him what the sound coming from the rear cassette was.
“That, nephew, is the sound of money.” Jason said.
(Rumors are that the bike is valued at nearly $8000, though I’m sure I got it for less)
So, anyway, after adjusting the bike to my body’s geometry (I share the bike with my wife…only way she’d approve the purchase!), I took it for a quick spin around my old ‘in town’ time trial loop ride. The loop is only 2.68 miles long with no traffic and a gradual quarter mile climb about a third of the way through. I used to do it once every couple of weeks but it has been nearly four months since I’d been on the bike, so I wasn’t expecting big things.
But…I used to do it on a hand me down mountain bike–an old Avanti Hammer aluminum frame beast. My best ever effort was around 8:40.
Today I manged 8:05.
I want to be clear here–I’m not doing a flip-flop all of a sudden and arguing that you need to sell your kidney ($15000 if you do it in India–you’d have change to spare!) for a bike to train on. I still standby the words of wisdom I so eloquently penned for Breathe Magazine back in 2015 that espoused the superfluousness of high dollar gear for training purposes.
But I am saying that this out of shape biker just beat his former PR, off the couch, by 7%, thanks to a little bit (or in this case a lot) of carbon fiber.
I’m also saying, that, at least this time, Lance got it wrong.