I've been a MTB guy for a long time, but after buying a fixie sometime in the Winter of '04, I sorta got hooked on road riding too. This was in New York City, and I spent many a day sailing around the streets of Manhattan, around Central Park, and north into Jersey. Rides got longer, I got faster...
Buying an inexpensive track bike was sort of an experiment to see if I would like this road riding enough to get myself a zippy road racing bike.
Fast forward to late this Summer. I'd moved across the country and was about to start grad school. I never stopped mountainbiking, but I'd been obsessing for months over what road bike I wanted (and could afford). I demoed at least a dozen bikes in three states, a few times demoing the same bike at different stores. I talked to custom builders, decided I *needed* this or that, changed my mind again and again, and *finally* plonked down for a serious road machine.
In the few months I've owned the bike, I've tried to ride at least 3 or 4 times a week, exploring this new place I live. My fixie is now a commuter, and my singlespeed is uh... sorta dusty. After a couple dozen or so rides, some easy, some hard, some harder than I ever thought I'd do, getting increasingly addicted, I showed up for a local Training Ride this morning.
Before today I had never ridden on the road in a group of more than three people (the 5 Boro Bike Tour in NY doesn't count). We were about ten today, and I think I now understand road riding on a completely different level. It was a day of discovery, as if I had learned something completely new to do with a bicycle. It was like Christmas in October.
Zooming around curves in a paceline, taking turns shooting forward to the lead, breaking off and entering your own private hell as you hammer up a hill... That was really, really fun.
I love riding solo, and I still love mountain biking, but this group ride was a whole new thing. I'm really sore now. Time for beer.
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