Last Saturday night, Brad and I went to dinner with some friends and came home around 10:30. I drove because Brad had a few beers at dinner (I had a race the next day). And because I drove and was on the far side of the car, I was the last one out of the garage. Usually the last person closes the garage door.
We went in the living room and watched TV for a little bit, then just before 11, we were getting ready to head to bed. I went to the alarm panel to set the alarm and it said ‘Zone Faulted: “overhead light in garage”‘. I read it aloud to Brad and he said…”Oh shoot! The garage door must be open! Go close it!” So I ran to the garage, opened the door and immediately my eyes went to wear my bike hangs. And sure enough…It was gone.
I screamed to Brad, “MY BIKE IS GONE,” and he came running. In a short 30 minutes, someone came down our alley and stole my bike right out of the garage. I was devastated. I called the police right away, knowing I would need a police report for insurance purposes. I am sure they get reports like this everyday, so other than going through the proper processes, they weren’t that interested in my situation.
That night I tossed and turned and fretted. I was worried about my race this weekend, about USAT Nationals, about finding a new bike and mostly being sad and angry at my carelessness and whoever would do this. Brad assured me that it would be okay. I could get a new, nicer bike. An upgrade.
But all I could think was I don’t want a new bike. I want MY bike.
I have spent three years getting just the right upgrades and accessories (including my Garmin Edge and cadence sensor that were both on it at the time) to make it perfect for me. I had a professional fit earlier this summer and it has never felt better or more comfortable. Plus, considering being in a crash last year and a few falling-off-a-moving-car mishaps with no major damage, that bike was lucky. I had kind of nicknamed it that and always knew, even if I ever got a tri bike someday, that I would never sell it.
Despite my sadness and not really wanting a new bike, with upcoming races, I had to get out shopping quickly. Buying a new bike is the last thing that I would ever normally want to do impulsively, but if I wanted to race, I didn’t have much choice. (I don’t know a single person in Chicago who I could borrow a bike from).
I knew I would go to a tri bike instead of a road bike this time, so that was where I started. Then I consulted my friends, Char & Jesse. They told me what brands/models they would look at, what I should look for, what components are best value, etc. They gave me fantastic advice. And fortunately, being in Chicago, I had access most of the major brands at bike shops within a 2 mile radius of my house.
If you don’t know or want to know anything about bikes, go ahead and skip this part. It probably won’t be interesting to you!
I set out Sunday early afternoon for some test rides. I quickly discovered that I wouldn’t get to ride a Felt or Cervelo because of the policy of the shop that sells them (no test rides?!). So I moved on to Element Multisport where I tried a Trek Speed Concept 7.0, Argon 18 E-112 and a BMC TimeMachine (TM02). I liked the Argon 18 a lot, but I REALLY loved the BMC. It felt smooth and fast and it was a good fit. Plus Ed at Element was AMAZING. He is patient, knowledgeable, honest and truly knows bikes. He did not pressure me to buy (in fact he seemed to be convinced that I would like the cheapest of the 3 bikes the most…And I did!) and encouraged me to go ride other brands.
After several hours, I left Element and went on a mission to try to ride a Quintana Roo Lucero and a Cannondale Slice. Unfortunately, I never got to try the Slice because no one had it in my size in stock and while I really liked the Lucero, I didn’t like the SRAM shifters. I could have gone to yet another shop to ride one with Shimano, but there was a deal on the BMC expiring that day (last day of the Tour) so I was short on time. I called Char and fretted over the decision. I hated feeling pressured but didn’t want to miss out on a huge savings. I did like the QR, but also didn’t feel comfortable with the shop and the experience I had there, so ultimately, I went back to Element and bought the BMC.
So friends, here it is…my brand new bike:
I rode it for the first time this morning and my original impression still holds true. It feels smooth and responsive (read: fast). I definitely have some adjusting to do in getting more comfortable on a tri bike vs. my road bike, but in general, I am really happy.
Unfortunately our insurance deductible is absurdly high and so there is going to be no help with buying the new bike. But, it is what it is and I feel very fortunate that I am in a position where I am able to get a new one right away. Despite this whole thing really sucking, I truly do recognize that and appreciate it.
Finally, details on the stolen bike:
- 2011 Felt ZW6 Size Medium
- Profile Design Aero Bars
- Shimano 105 Shifters, 105 Front Derailleur, Ultegra Rear Derailleur, Ultegra Brakes
- Blue Speedplay Zero Pedals
- Felt factory saddle from 2012 model ZW6
I am keeping my eye out on Craigslist and other places on the internet to see if it turns up anywhere. Most likely it is sitting is some shitty Pawn Shop around Chicago on sale for a measly $500, which barely covers the cost of the Garmin and aero bars. But if I found it, I would totally do everything I could to get it back because I really, really love that bike.