I never pictured myself as someone who would enjoy riding bicycles. I mean, I rode around Ocean Beach when I was in grade school, but I wasn't good at it and it sure wasn't fun. I just wanted to be able to do whatever the boys could do better, and the boys were riding bikes. Me, I rode horses, was obsessed by horses, had no fear no matter how ornery the horse was. I would slave away cleaning stalls all day long just to get the chance to ride for an hour for as long as I remember. My mom was a single mom and struggled to give me opportunities to be around horses. I remember her taking me to Poway stables when I was around 7, first just to ride a rental horse for an hour every-other weekend. Later, dropping me off early in the morning and picking me up after dark. I didn't realize that I was a 'good' rider, I just knew that if I got a chance to get on a horse or pony, I wasn't coming off for fear that the owners wouldn't let me try again if I fell, lol. This young girls obsession grew as did my abilities. I was on the smaller side, so could train ponies so the barn owners I worked for could sell them to rich parents for their spoiled children to show. I realized that I could use this to my advantage, I bought my first 'project' horse when I was just 14 for $200 and sold him 6 months later for $2000. Thus my career as a horse trainer began.
Fast forward a whole lot of years, and a multitude of broken bones and surgeries, including a full knee replacement. My son started mountain biking when he was 12, started getting serious about it about a year or so later. I was a great shuttle mom, but wanted more. I wanted to ride something that didn't try to throw me off, so I got an older Stumpjumper. I was terrible, lol. But dang, did I look the part thanks to being a great shuttle mom for 2 years and hanging out with a bunch of great DH guys and gals. I got a little better, emphasis on little, met this really great guy who lived and breathed for anything on two wheels. My life has never been the same, and I haven’t looked back.
Needless to say, based on my extensive DH foundation (ie rad shuttle mama who occasionally kept the rubber side down) there was no way I was EVER going to ride a road bike. They are lame, and the outfits even lamer. Well, remember that guy I told you about? He loves to ride and I love him, so… his enthusiasm rubbed off. He got his hands on a loaner bike, an old carbon/aluminum trek that was too big and had come straight out of the late 90’s. My first ride I was decked out in my Fox MTB shorts, t-shirt, FiveTens, and cross country helmet. It surprised the hell out of me that I had fun, even though I was terrified of the twitchy bike with skinny ass tires, cars that came way too close, and the thought of wearing spandex in public in a decade other than the 80’s.
Slowly I switched from bulky MTB gear, flat pedals and xc helmets to a closet full of Pearl Izumi, Sidi shoes with clips, and a damn roady helmet. Once Branden realized I was actually going to stick with riding, he began plotting a way to get me a bike. One that wouldn’t kill my back, that would fit my vertically challenged frame, and that I wouldn’t look at and say it was ‘lame’. He bombarded me with magazines, showing me pictures of different styles of roadbikes. Discussing the benefits of Shimano vs SRAM, eTap vs DI2, the high cost of Campi. Then one day it happened, I saw the bike I wanted last fall. It was rad, had tall tires and DISC brakes! Yes, real brakes! Not those silly ones that squeeze the side of the rim, how in the hell is that going to stop you in a pinch? I have giant rotors on my MTB, waaay bigger than I will ever need, just the way I like it J I had convinced Branden, he thought building a randonneur for me would be cool, but how did we convince the king of all roadies that it was a good idea?! During this same timeframe, both Joe and Branden had titanium Seven Axioms built with the idea that they would double as demo bikes for the shop. Brandens bike was equipped with Shimano Dura Ace and Joes was set up with SRAM eTap. Joes intentions with running eTap was to discredit it as garbage. Joe is such a hardcore roadie that all he would run is Campi, like any true roadie would. After the bikes arrived and were built up, Joe started to wonder if maybe SRAM had something with this eTap groupo, it was ridiculously easy to get set up. Then they went on their first ride and Joe said ‘Campi who’? Suddenly Mr. Roadie was open to the idea of building a 650b randonneur with disc brakes for me, not only open to it, excited about it.
I worked with our Rep at Seven to design not only the perfect build, for me, but a rad paint scheme. The waiting for the bike was the hardest part of this journey, lol! Finally Beauty arrives, well over 200 miles later this lady is officially a ‘cyclist’ J I truly believe that if you are comfortable on a bike that fits you correctly, ANYONE can put down some seriously fun miles in whichever discipline you prefer. Who knows, you may even turn into a roadie too ;)