Sunday, February 1, 2015

Why I Am Specialized!

My love affair with Specialized Bikes began in 2008 when I brought home my first real racing bike.  His name was Falco.  

He was a beautiful boy... an S-Works Tarmac in blue with world champ racing stripes.  I was in love.  He was the first bike that actually fit me.  Falco took me to the top of the podium a few times and was with me the first time I raced up the Manayunk Wall in the Liberty Classic in 2009.

After joining CAWES, I was able to get my second Specialized S-Works bike.  With his amazing green and gold Team Highroad paint scheme, the aptly named Bernie, was another amazing ride.  With increasingly better carbon, Bernie was a small step up from Falco in terms of stiffness and response.  He was fast.  He was nimble.  He was a great bike.

And then... I got a "girl's" bike.

Mari was my first S-Works Amira.  I admit that I was nervous about going with a "girl's" bike.  I'd always ridden standard "men's" frames and this was going to be quite a change.  But, once I got used to the feel of the geometry of the frame, I found that I simply didn't feel right on the Tarmac anymore.  I had found the perfect bike for me in the Amira.  The geometry allowed me to change my center of gravity and I found that zipping through corners in fast professional crits was easier on this bike than Bernie or Falco.  I was hooked.  Again.

But, then it happened.  I fell head over heels in love with Lozen.  A feisty girl with a wickedly gorgeous paint scheme, Lozen is my 2015 S-Works Amira.

With a few hours under our belts together, I realized on today's ride that this bike is THE best bike I have ever owned or ridden.  She is super light - I didn't think bikes could get much lighter than Mari, but I was wrong.  And, this is without her race wheels!  Seriously, I'm afraid I'll get air time when I put my Zipp wheels on her for racing.

This bike is incredibly stiff - which means that she is ultra responsive to pressure on the pedals.  When you stomp down, this bike shoots out from underneath you!

I am so excited to get her out in a race situation to see how she handles fast cornering, but I have no doubt that she will continue to wow me!

If you're in the market for a new bike, I can't say enough about awesome Specialized bikes.  I feel lucky to have been on a Specialized sponsored team since I began racing in 2007.  I fully expect to ride a Specialized until I'm old and gray.  Well, ok... older and grayer!

Thanks for creating amazing bikes, Specialized!

Maybe my next post will gush about your awesome shoes and helmets!  ;)

Injury Prevention Workshop

Friday night found the ladies of CAWES hanging out at an Injury Prevention Workshop hosted by our new sponsor Specialized Physical Therapy in Cherry Hill.  The team, with about 15 of our closest cycling friends gathered for an evening discussing the most common overuse related injuries in cycling and how to avoid them.

 Meredith, Kristin, Beth, Paul, Sarah, Matt, and Maria

 We were so happy that so many of our cycling friends joined us for the event!

Paul and Matt shared techniques with us for stretching and strengthening and we were able to give them some info about the dynamics of cycling and the bike.  Not only was it a truly informative event, it was so cool to share knowledge with one another!  

It was a great night and a wonderful chance to share one of our fantastic sponsors with fellow cyclists who can definitely benefit from their knowledge and skills.

A huge thank you goes out to Matt and Paul for hosting the event.  I don't know about everyone else, but I've already started incorporating some of the stretches and strengthening exercises into my daily routine!

So, if you find yourself in need of a little help with a painful joint or muscle, a kink in the neck, or a knee that keeps hollering at you... give these guys a call.  They can get you back on track and moving more efficiently than ever!