I bought a NEW bike. It's REALLY fast, lightweight, great brakes and cheaper than a Parlee road bike or a Specialized Shiv TT bike. In fact, it was thousands of dollars less than either a Parlee or Specialized. I took it out for a quick 75 mile ride today. It was really smooth, shifted nicely, and had great acceleration. And, it climbed better than a billy goat. What was even better is when I got done riding I was not fatigued at all.
So, what did I get? I got a 2011 Suzuki V Strom 650 w/ ABS. Yup, that's right, I bought a motorcycle NOT a bicycle. Still two wheels though..ha. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know..motorcycles are dangerous. Well, guess what sports fans..bicycling is dangerous too..perhaps JUST as dangerous as riding a motorcycle..maybe even more so- especially if you race. Hell, a guy was just killed last week down the street from me on Rt. 413 in Doylestown Township when a truck's side mirror whacked him in the head while he was stopped on his bicycle on the side of the road looking at a (route) cue sheet. What's worse, it was a hit and run. I hope they find the guy and "string him up" for leaving the scene. Probably some freakin' construction dude (contractor) that was drinking all afternoon at the Candlewick Inn Bar/Restaurant driving drunk. Oh, I'm sure he'll tell his lawyer (the next day when he's sobered-up) that he wasn't drunk and that he just fled the scene because he was scared. Yeah, right.
So, why on earth did I buy a motorcycle? Another mid-life crisis perhaps? Well, perhaps a little bit of that. But, this is NOT my first motorcycle. I actually grew up with mini-bikes, three wheelers (prior to quads) and motorcycles. My folks had a place on Lake Wallenpaupack (Pocono Mtns, PA) and I rode until I ran out of gas. I bought this "Wee Strom" (they call the 1000cc the "Vee Strom") because I want to start moto ref cycling events/races. For those of you that don't know, this is my second year officiating road races and cyclo-cross races. I really enjoy officiating because I get the best seat in the house to enjoy cycling racing- either in a lead car, follow car, or working the pits. Now, I can get an even better seat- hanging right behind the peloton of a Pro 1/2/3 race...with Cat 4 leg power. ha
Another reason I bought the bike is because I love to take Action Sports Photography at Triathlons and Cycling events. I can cover MUCH more of the course from a motorcycle than I ever could on foot or in a car. This summer I'm already booked to shoot the 2011 Gran Fondo Colnago Philadelphia Cycling Event as well as the 2011 Univest Grand Prix. I'm working on shooting the 1st annual 2011 Ironman Pocono 70.3 Triathlon too. I've been on the back of motorcycles shooting photography for many events..and just have no confidence with the drivers I've gotten. In fact, at one event, the driver almost dumped the bike when he skidded on a rain-slick road.
Still another reason I bought a motorcycle is because it's FUN! I can't tell you how much fun I had on my maiden journey this afternoon. I forgot what it feels like to accelerate on long windy roads and feel the wind in my face..not to mention the sights and the sweet smells of flowers, freshly cut grass, etc. along the route.
Tomorrow I'm taking my bike to a race in Lancaster, PA (Mt. Nebo). I'm NOT moto-reffing with it yet. I still have to get my moto-ref license. USA Cycling is offering a moto-ref course/seminar/clinic on June 26, 2011 but I'm not crazy about driving to Morgantown, WV to attend. I think I'll just wait until 2012 for something closer to my home. In the meantime, I'll work on upgrading my Officials license from C to B and learning as much as I can. The cool thing about riding tomorrow is that I'll get to follow two other moto-refs from my area to the race. One guy is from Perkasie, PA and the other from Hatfield, PA. Both towns are about 5-10 miles from my house. Can't beat that.
Hope to see you out on the course. Power ON! Coach Rob