Newbie says "Hello" :)
Hi there, it was suggested that I tell a bit about myself since I am a new member of this site.
I was born and raised in the Northwest, I love traveling and I work in the field of environmental conservation.
I used to be justa get-around simple commuting biker (usually fair weather at that!). I had a clunky, cheap Giant mountain bike that I used for everything (I won't even mention how many pounds that behemoth was/is - I still have it!)...
In 2006 I was given the opportunity to bike the North Island of New Zealand....so I started training in earnest about 1.5 months before departure....on a clunky stationary recumbant bike that had come with the house I bought earlier that year (god it was boring!).... my goal was to pedal at least 100 miles a week (don't laugh - I think the longest I'd ridden was about 15 miles at a wack...ever).... never mind that the itinerary noted some 80 to 100 mile days(!!!)...ignorance can be bliss (in moderation).
Long story short - ebay produced a classic steel Bianchi (circa 1980's) and, with the help of friends I tracked down all the necessary accessories...did I mention I'd never ridden with clipless pedals until then? (there were some "Benny Hill" moments as the Large-ish paniers toppled me at the most embarrassing times).
I arrived and met the rest of the group - seasoned long distance riders every one...that's when the group leader had the audacity to ask me if I'd ridden much..."because I didn't look like a cyclist" (so I didn't have the stereotypical lean physique - athletically curvy can be just as good...jeez, give a girl a break!) To which I responded the next day by kicking his ass up every bleep'n hill! (small victory for the "non-cyclist"). For those of you who haven't experienced the hills of N.Z. yet, let me tell you it is a life altering experience. We rode 1000 miles in 2 weeks - it was an incredible trip!!!
In a nut shell - I became completely hooked on long distance riding - taking particular enjoyment in climbing hills - steeper the better!
Now I have a Canondale CAAD-9 which I love although I believe a full carbon frame of some kind is in my future... I try to bag 5 to 10 organized rides a season (with 1/2 or more century rides).
...so that's my story ............ I LOVE ROAD BIKING!!!