Guest Blog:On the Road from Newbie to Roadie

Our good friend Andrea decided to share her experience of what was like to transition from commuter to roadie. Before she became such a road pro, she actually had to work on becoming a commuter first. You can read that story HERE. Thanks for sharing your story with us Andrea!
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I used to find road bikes intimidating. How could I possibly balance on those skinny tires? Would I have to wear spandex? Won’t that tiny saddle hurt my butt? What are “the drops” anyway?

After a few months of commuting on my heavy, old mountain bike I started to feel more confident on the road. I stopped holding on my breaks while going downhill and started to have a greater awareness and comfort for riding with traffic. I decided I was ready for the skinny tires.

The commuting machine.
The commuting machine.

On my first outing on my road bike, I noticed the difference in balancing on the tires, but it was easier than I thought. There’s a short, steep hill on my way to work and when I lifted out of the saddle to climb, I noticed that I had to lean more forward than on my mountain bike.

At first, I rode with Yoga pants, but I quickly realized what all the hype about wearing a Chamois was for. Overall,  firm saddle and all, I was surprised at how comfortable the road bike felt. The first couple of outings, my wrists were a bit sore, but they grew stronger over time.

Of course, the biggest difference between my road bike and my mountain bike is the speed. When I started riding to work on my road bike, I trimmed my commute time from 45 to 40 minutes. I feel like it’s easier to get power while climbing hills. Now when I ride with friends and family, I can keep up with the pack. I’ve added a bit of spandex to my wardrobe, but don’t wear it exclusively.

New road ride!
New road ride!

For me, becoming a cyclist has been a series of small steps. First, I wanted to be able to commute to work and back and not die. Then, I wanted to tackle a 25-mile ride, then a 50-mile ride. Next year I hope to train for a full century…and learn how to ride with clip-less pedals, which look pretty intimidating at the moment.