Biking on the Brain

Just about this time two years ago, I started running. I was sick of working out like a hamster on a wheel inside and wanted to take things outside. After just a few months, I ran what I consider my first “real” 5K.

Two years later, I’ve run quite a few races and it’s pretty safe to say I’m obsessed with running.

But I’m pretty sure a new hobby is about to enter my life. A few weeks ago, I rode about 20 miles on a bike–up to the George Washington Bridge and back. The company helped, but I also had a really good time on the bike. Bikes aren’t cheap, so I’ve held out on buying one for quite a while. I wanted to make sure I really wanted one, and that I wasn’t going to plunk down a few hundred dollars on one and it sit in my apartment collecting dust.

But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about biking since then, and I found out this week that I’ll be getting a nice tax refund. You can guess what it’s going towards! I’ve been asking people about what they ride/recommend, and last night I stopped at a bike store on my way home. Unfortunately, I was wearing a dress, so I couldn’t do a test ride.


So far this Trek 7.2 is one of the frontrunners. I’m trying not to be a victim of marketing, but they do say it’s the most versatile bike ever. Dorry and Kath also both have and love this bike.


The Giant Dash 3 is the second bike I looked at. It’s prettier, but I’m trying not to be a huge girl and make a decision based on looks. (But isn’t it pretty?) I had asked last week about going for hybrid or a road bike. Heather and Kate both advocated for road bikes, saying that if I wanted to do anything longer than a sprint tri, I’d want a road bike and therefore would only have to buy a bike once.

While I’m pretty sure that I’ll at least do a sprint tri, when I started running, I signed up for a 5K with little to no thought of ever doing a marathon. While maybe I’ll do a longer tri some day, I’m willing to cross that bridge when I come to it and start out with a hybrid that I can have fun on and also race on. If, at some point, I have to sell the hybrid and get a road bike, I’m cool with that, too.

Now to go ride one of these babies! And sit and wait for my tax refund to come.

And then I’m pretty sure I’ll be looking for a sprint tri in the tri-state area. Any good ones you know of? (I guess I really am addicted to races. I’m okay with that!)

12 comments on “Biking on the Brain

  1. Lindsay

    How exciting!! I took the plunge (literally) last summer and signed up for an olympic tri and then had to find a bike. (Side note: definitely do a sprint first. Tris are different animals and you don’t want to start off with medium distances.) From my experience, I would recommend you spend a lot more time researching bikes because it’s basically impossible to spend less than $800 for a new bike that won’t break after a few miles, and plopping down a ton of money for a new bike, in my opinion, shouldn’t be a quick decision.

    That being said, I’m a law student and didn’t exactly have $800 sitting around waiting to be spent on a new bike (Note to mention the fact that tris are ridiculously expensive just to sign up for). I did a lot of research and eventually found a friend who was selling her practically new bike for $500. My advice is to find out the specs that are really important to you, figure out your size (go to a bike store to be sized), and start scouring Craigslist and your friends for bikes that fit your preferences.

    Finally, the road bike v. hybrid debate doesn’t seem like much of a debate to me. Road bikes are faster than hybrids and just as fun as hybrids, and they are also excellent racing bikes. I can’t envision too many situations in which you would be able to bring your hybrid and not your road bike. If you’re considering mountain biking, I don’t think you can bring either hybrid or road, and in that instance you would be better served renting a mountain bike.

    Just my two cents. Once you get into the shopping, you’ll realize how much bike enthusiasts know about bikes/biking (which means there’s a lot for you to learn), and also how ridiculously expensive the sport is! Good luck!!

  2. Katie

    Theodora –

    When I was 13, I was dying to start making my own money so that I could buy my own bike (that wasn’t a hand-me-down). I quickly started lusting after a lovely new Trek (although mine is a hybrid). I mowed lawns all summer to save up the money for it, which was about $350 or so at the time. I bought the bike in my 13th year and now in my 29th year – it’s still going strong over 16 years later! Although, it did take about a 3-5 year break in my parents’ garage. I brought it up to my house a couple of years ago, and this winter got a trainer for it for the winter months. I still love that bike and it rides just as smooth as ever.

    How’s that for a glowing Trek review?? You can’t go wrong with investing in a great bike. Even if you let it sit for a few months or a few years, you won’t be sorry that you made the investment.

    Best of luck!


  3. Kim

    The Trek 7.2 was my first bike I bought as an adult. I loved it (sadly, it was stolen outside of Union Station last summer).

    That being said, I did a sprint tri on it, and wished the ENTIRE time that I had a road bike. Hybrids are fantastic, I won’t say they aren’t, but last summer I bought a beautiful Specialized Dolce for about $400 more than my Trek was originally. I love it so much more than I did my Trek (and that’s saying a lot).

    If you ever think you’re going to want to ride 20+ miles on a consistent basis, I highly advocate purchasing a road bike.

    I second getting your measurements and looking for bikes on craigslist. You can also check your local bike shops. A handful of them around here sell used bikes and they are infinitely cheaper (because, to be honest, you’re going to spend a couple hundred more on accessories if/when you get into racing – clips, shoes, shorts, gloves, etc.)

  4. Caitlin

    I bought a hybrid a few years ago because I wasn’t sure how much I would ride, and I’m glad I did – i haven’t ridden too much since moving to the city! That being said, its one of my goals to ride more this spring – let me know if you ever want a riding buddy!

  5. Leah

    I did my first tri (Chicago Sprint) two years ago. I too, didn’t have a bike, prior to signing up, but quickly decided a road bike was the way to go. I ended up with a Specialized Dolce. It’s a great bike. Go for it! I love Tri’s because as a runner, Tri’s put me completely out of my comfort zone.

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Leah: Yeah–that’s why I want to try a tri. I love running, and I never want to get sick of it, but I’ve already conquered distances up to the marathon! I doubt I’ll ever run an ultra, so I want to conquer new distances/races in new ways!

  6. Kate @ Spoonful of Vigor

    I know I advocated for a road bike, but… that Giant is a great bike too! I’ve never ridden a Trek, but the hybrid I recently sold was the same Giant you posted, just a few years older. Definitely a great bike if a hybrid is what you’re looking for.

  7. Jenn

    I recently got the Trek 7.3 fx and let me tell you, I am obsessed. I love it. And I got a good deal on it, in the 500 range. I plan on doing a sprint tri with it. And being girly, I think its a beautiful bike (mine is a pretty blue).


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