This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Cornering: Level I

I had planned do the Velo Girls Sunday Ride today but changed my mind at the last minute. I'm still in my stolen road bike funk. I did, however, cycle to Blockbuster to return some DVDs.

In the afternoon, I headed over to Treasure Island to take the Cornering: Level I workshop by Coach Phil of Hypercat Racing. I thought it was going to be a beginner workshop but everybody else who was there looked like pros. They all had nice road or tri bikes. I was the only one there with a mtb. One of the ladies there (Sandy) brought her Giant TCR-1 Composite. I looked wistfully at it. Yes, it's same model as my stolen bike.

Phil set up a left hand corner with cones and we were all supposed to cycle through one after another as he observed. He would then pull us out individually or in small groups to let us know how we should correct our form. We then did the same thing but going through the opposite direction (right hand corner).

Everybody else was given specific things to work on with regards to trajectory, lean, whatever. The only feedback I got is that I cycle too slowly. I don't quite have enough momentum to get through a corner comfortably. "Speed is your friend!" yelled Phil as I passed by, "Pedal faster!" That was the only advice I received because until I reached the critical mass for speed, it wasn't possible to coach me any further.

At the end of the workshop, I asked for Phil's advice as to what type of road bike I should buy based on my skill level. He suggested that a bike in the $1,200-$1,800 range, with Shimano 105 or Ultegra components should last me four years. He said that my old bike is meant for much more experienced racers. It's too responsive for somebody like me who is learning how to ride. When I told him that I had wanted a "bike for life", he said that it doesn't quite work that way. Bikes are like cars, he said. You wouldn't buy a Porsche for an 18 year old.

I told Phil I just wanted to finish Treasure Island. He was very encouraging and said that I would do fine. I had expected this workshop to be a great breakthrough but instead, I was deeply frustrated with myself. I find it easier to ride on a mtb than a road bike, but I'm still plagued from a nagging fear of falling that prevents me from picking up any appreciable speed.

Everybody asks me what I'm going to do and whether I'll buy another road bike. I just don't know. Maybe getting my bike stolen is a sign. Perhaps I'm just not meant for cycling/triathlons. If there was ever a logical time to stop racing, this would be it.

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