My big day, my recovery anniversary day, is Monday but we’ve got plans next weekend and things are going to be hectic so we decided to have a gathering last night rather than try to figure something out during the week or wait till next weekend – and this after an awesome 29 cycle-run-cycle brick.
There are those who would throw an absolute fit that we did this early and actually chastise me for inviting some friends to dinner a day and a half earlier than my actual anniversary. Fortunately for my friends and I, sobriety is worn like a track suit, not a straight jacket – we allow ourselves a little flexibility when it comes to life – it doesn’t always fit in a neat little box.
We had a fantastic 3 hour-long dinner at Italia Gardens (Miller Rd, Flint Michigan – the place has some of the best ribs on the planet), more than 140 years of continuous sobriety sitting at the table between seven of us. It was quite neat to look around the table at my friends: My wife and I, married for 18 years. My buddy Dave and his wife, known them for just as long. My running buddies Mark and Dennis, we’ve known them for almost as long – and my buddy Pete and his wife (the only one of the group who doesn’t have a drinking problem to recover from). We’re all so much older now, but we’ve still got it.
A neat little side-story about my buddy Pete… He and I have been tight for more than a decade now and my buddy Grateful Jim likes to tell a story of Pete and I blessed him one day on a run (the emphasis on “him” is because this is a man who has opened his house and fed us every Saturday for decades so sober folks can have a place to gather and run together – how we could so affect him after all of his generosity was hard to fathom at the time). It still tears Jim up telling the story: Pete and I had known each other and run out at Jim’s house for quite a while and we both had new baby girls, though Pete had an older daughter. Pete and I were giving our wives some time off from the babies and brought them with us for a jog. So we’re out running, Pete pushing his daughter, me pushing mine in jogging strollers and we pass Jim up after about two miles. For Pete and I, while it was cool for us to be out pushing our kids around, we were just out for a run… What Jim saw though, was two young men who’d been able to escape the clutches of alcoholism at an early age, out spending time with their little girls and living a happy life that is only possible through sobriety. He saw two young guys making it where most don’t and teaching their babies early on the importance of staying fit.
Back to dinner, we sat and laughed and had a great time – and like most anniversary dinners in our tight-knit little group, the dinner focused little on an anniversary so much as it gave us yet another reason to get together, have a nice dinner, a laugh and a cup of coffee or two. After dinner, Pete and his wife and my wife and I headed out to see a movie before heading home for the night. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a day.
This morning, after sleeping in and with the girls at friends’ houses, Mrs. Bgddy went out for a nice ride to work off the deserts from last night.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard or read a variation of the “it’s no fair, cycling is stacked against women because everything is made for men” comment, I’d be riding a much more expensive Venge than the one I’ve got. Well, rejoice ladies because the tables have been turned. Not evened up, TURNED on their head.
Specialized heard you and responded. Not only did they come up with a great female geometry specific road bike, they set it up for triathlons as well. Ladies, you get an out-of-the-box road bike and triathlon bike in one bike. Meet the Alias Pro Tri:
It’s got a decent price tag at $6,000 but what you get for the money is absolutely astounding! Dura Ace equipped, carbon everything and Roval Rapide CL 40 carbon clinchers. When you consider the fact that the wheelset alone goes for $2,200, you can start to understand just what a great deal this bike is. Color me jealous. The closest thing for us boys is the SWorks Venge and that comes with a price tag of $8,500 and we don’t get the clip on aero bars! Better still is the middle of the road model, if the Pro Tri is too much on the budget. Meet the Alias Comp Tri:
This model is only $3,300! While you’re giving up the Roval carbon clinchers, you still get Fulcrum S5’s, a formidable aluminum wheelset. In addition you’re only dropping one component line, to Ultegra! This bike is, without a doubt the best deal I know of for a truly high-end road bike. For a comparable Venge you’re looking at another $700.
To round out the line they’ve got the Alias Sport Tri at $2,600 that is set up exactly like my Venge but costs $500 less! Now, to be sure, this one comes with DT Swiss Axis 2.0 wheels. They’re not crap wheels, but the 4.0’s came with my bike and they’re sitting out in the garage, stripped of their tires. You’ll want to upgrade to something a lot lighter and more forgiving before you walk out of the shop with the bike.
Ladies the Alias utilizes the same FACT 10r Carbon that is used for my Venge, has internally routed cabling – and if the Alias is anything like my Venge, the routing is top of the line, quiet and exceptional – it has more bells and whistles than my Venge, and costs less than comparable models. Also, looking at the Alias it appears as though it is modeled after the Venge. The only difference is would be the feminine specific geometry, so I feel comfortable saying that the Alias will be one of the most comfortable race bikes you’ll ever ride. If you’ve never visited my blog before, I have been gushing effusively since I bought my Venge in August. It is truly a top-notch bike and I’ve dubbed it the bike I’ll be riding in Heaven. My Venge is comfortable, fast, quiet and far exceeds my expectations for what I paid for it. Given a proper fitting I cannot imagine your experience on the Alias would be any different from mine on the Venge. Enjoy.
Fitting Note for Noobs: There will be a trick to purchasing the right bike out of these three… Once you decide on the right one for you, you’ll have to pick a size. Your local bike shop will measure you up and tell you what size frame that should be if you want the bike to look like the one in the photo, saddle maybe 2″ above the handlebar. This will be a comfortable position but not an aerodynamic one (you’ll need a greater drop from the saddle to the bar to fit your arms into the equation). The trick is to by a size or two smaller bike. For instance, by all measurements I should be riding a 59 cm bike. However, because of the sloped top tube the geometry of the bike can fit a wider array of riders (how this works I have no idea, the info came from my LBS pro) so I ended up with a 56 cm frame instead and they said they could even have fit me to a 54! Riding a smaller bike will increase how much you’ll have to raise the saddle to get in the correct position to deliver power to the pedals. Now, straight top tube bikes are a different monster, so be careful to work closely with your shop to get the right bike for you.