Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation


Scott Plasma = Confidence

My new tri bike!

My new tri bike!

I bought a new bike this weekend – the Scott Plasma 20!  It’s a fantastic carbon frame with a mix of Shimano Ultegra and 105 components.  I put my Easton EA 90 TT wheels on it.  Went for a nice 35 mile ride this morning – and felt strong, confident and fast.  And, my legs felt great on my run afterwards!  Mooseman, Cranberry Trifest and IM Moo – here I come!

If you’re looking for a bike in the Boston area, I highly recommend Quad Multisport in Arlington.  I knew I was in the right place when I found out that Marco  and I grew up not only in the same town, but on the same street.  And, one of the other customers in the shop is my current neighbor.  Talk about good community and good vibes!  In all seriousness though, Marco and Tom are knowledgeable, patient, honest and listen to your needs.  I went to some other shops where they spent lots of time (and money) on the fit, but didn’t let you ride the bikes.  I think I spent about 6 hours at Quad on Sat – test rode three bikes and couldn’t be happier with the one I chose.

Now, according to my pal Matt, the new bike needs a name.  Any suggestions?  “The comeback kid” comes to mind right now.


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Recovery Road

I traveled to Lake Placid, NY this weekend for a training weekend with a few of my good friends from the DC Tri Club.  Angela, AJ, Julie and Kimberly all signed up for Ironman Lake Placid this year.  I was psyched to join them in Placid to train.  One of the great things about staying on the East Coast – I get to train with my friends from DC to Boston every month this summer!  I’m really looking forward to cheering the ladies on in the race too – especially as I volunteer at the last water stop on the run course. 

Given my cycling accident last weekend, I took a bit of time to recover this week.  I focused on sleeping and putting bacitracin on my face – and not much else.  I barely felt up to anything until Friday.  But, let me tell you, the minute I pulled off exit 30 on I-87 towards Lake Placid, I was ready to ride and run again.  Woo-hoo!

Recovery Ride Attempt #1

Saturday morning started out great.  We rolled out of the house around 8 am.  The plan was for me to do one loop of the IMLP bike course.  About 56 miles.  We hit the road around 8:45 am.  But by 9:15 am, I was in tears.   

On the first descent on Rt. 73 out of Lake Placid (just before River Road), my bike started to shake uncontrollably.  I felt like I was riding a nervous horse that was ready to throw me at any second.  Angela said the rear wheel was wobbly.  I tried to ride a little further, but my confidence was shaken.  Thankfully, Mom and Dad Strope were in LP for the weekend.  They got the “rescue me” call. 

I took my bike into High Peaks Cyclery for a quick check up.  The guys tightened everything up, changed the tires, and even took the bike for a spin down the block.  Everything checked out ok. 

Recovery Ride – Attempt #2

I decided to try the hilly cycling route again around 11 am – with my parents acting as my sag vehicle.   The first few descents felt alright – not nearly as wobbly.  But, I hit above 30 and a little wind, and felt the wobble again.  My parents waited for me after each descent, then followed me along.  I made it to the top of the big descent into Keene, then lost it again.  With tears flowing and my whole body shaking, I flagged my parents down and said, “I CAN’T DO IT!  I can’t do it!  Take me back to town!”

On the Road Again

I spent the remainder of Saturday afternoon cycling around the IMLP run course and Mirror Lake.  It was flat and easy, and I felt much more confident.  I test rode some tri bikes at Placid Planet on Sunday.  The tri bike geometry allows for more weight on the front part of the bike and makes me feel a lot more steady.  My friend Matt said I looked much stronger riding on the Felt B 16!  And, I  joined Kimberly and AJ for a quick ride along the run course on Monday morning. 

In retrospect, heading out on a 56 mile HILLY ride was probably a bit ambitious for my first ride post-crash.  And, it seems like my bike (a Giant TCR) might have picked up a case of Speed wobble post-crash.  The causes of speed wobble are too numerous to count…but it also seems that the more tense, cold, or shaky a rider is, the more pronounced the wobble will be.  Perfect for me coming off of a crash, right? 

So, here’s my new plan to regain strength and confidence on the bike:

  • Do a few short and easy rides over the next 2 weeks
  • Talk to some coaches and experts
  • Buy a new bike.  I’m looking at the Felt B 16, Felt S32, and Quintaroo Dulce now.  Other suggestions are welcome.  Just looking for something other than a Cervelo – great bikes, but I want something different.