Just joined the boards to see how far off the edge I really went. Just got back in to cycling after a hiatus of, oh, twenty years or so. Over the last year and a half or so, I've spent a lot of time and energy working off an extra 113 pounds I picked up cooking, eating and watching TV. After getting in shape, I dusted off my old Specialized mountain bike, and lasted about a day before I started shopping.
Figuring that as a middle-aged-ish guy getting back in to cycling, I'd be mostly on pavement of one sort or another, I picked up a new Trek 7.5 Fx, which is a great "fitness hybrid" bike. I started regularly sneaking out of work early and riding 20 or 25 miles on paved trails or a real nice crushed limestone "rails to trails" site near here. Within a few weeks, I found myself drooling all over road bikes in shops and on web sites. A couple Sundays ago, after doing a 35 mile trail ride on the hybrid, I went to the LBS, telling myself I just needed some bar ends to get myself a second hand position on my 7.5.
I looked at bar ends for a few minutes, then drifted over to the road bikes. It seemed that $1,800 to $2,200 seemed to be a real sweet spot for a nice full carbon road bike with decent 105 or equal components. I test rode some Treks, some LeMonds, some Scotts. I was agonizing between a sweet Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5, and a really nice left over '07 LeMond Zurich, which was marked down from $3,200 to $1,900. Then the guy tells me the only other thing he's got that might interest me, but was a little higher than my price range, was a new '08 Trek Madone 5.1. I knew at that point I was in big trouble, becuase two weeks earlier, I had made a high-res photo of this very bike the wallpaper on my computer. I rode this thing for about half an hour, and it was like I'd found religion. It rode like a dream, it accelerated like no 47 year old man had a right to, the geometry fit me to a "T", and the Ultegra brakes were so much better than anything else I rode, I almost threw myself over the bars the first time I clamped them down. I took this baby home, and haven't looked back since. It's only rained twice in the last two weeks, and I've ridden between 20 and 45 miles every day except those two. I'm setting the 7.5 up as a commuter/gravel trail bike, and between the two, I've got a great ride for just about any conditions.
Looking forward to learning a lot and having some fun with the forums. I figure with the matching jerseys and upgraded yellow bar tape on the Madone, I've got a good start with the OCP in me, and my 7.5 is rapidly turning in to a Fred showpiece, so I should be able to get along with everybody.