“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
– Yoda

Isn’t suffering what cycling is all about? ;-)

There was a time I never thought I would own anything other than a mountain bike. I literally scoffed at the idea: “Why would I ever own a road bike?” I asked myself, “Road riders never look happy, and they can only go where the paved road takes them… LAME!”

Well kids… I have to say I’ve been converted.

Any cyclist who starts taking their off-season or early-season training more seriously can attest to the benefits of having a road bike. It enables you to start putting in some serious miles long before it’s possible on a mountain bike. From a training perspective it makes sense, but there’s more to it than just that.

Though I had to look to cyclocross as a gateway drug, I’m starting to fall in love with the road for the same reasons I fell in love with my mountain bike.

Like my mountain bike, it takes me places. Unlike a mountain bike, these are mostly places that I could get to in my car, but as the old adage goes, “it’s about the journey, not the destination.” Truer words were never spoken. A somewhat boring and menial drive, can still make for a stellar ride. Little things that go unnoticed within the bubble of a vehicle are a visceral part of your riding experience.

And then there’s the speed. Dear lord, the speed.

Between some wicked downhills on my mountain bike and some good winding descents on my cyclocross rig I’ve managed to get going pretty quick, but the rock solid feeling you have at speeds north of 60km/h and the feeling of instant power and nimbleness are unique to a road bike – Those are feelings that’ll keep you comin’ back for more, I tell ya.

Since Sheldon tossed a challenge in my corner a while back with his new rig, I thought it only fair that I give him the same courtesy. It was time for me to round out the stable anyway, and after some prodding from my beloved wife I made the plunge. So without further ado, here she is, in all her glory (the bike, not my wife ;-):

Supple curves

Go gears

Carbon goodness

It's all in the details

Ain't no granny gear here

So what’dya say Smart, you up for it?

Since Smart is coming down to Calgary for the Prairie Roubaix this coming weekend his call will have to be made prior to seeing things with his own eyes.

What’s at stake?

Pride. Glory. Every lasting bragging rights. Oh yeah, and the first round of post-roubaix beers for any Bikeridr readers in attendance.

I’ll also probably be posting a review of the bike after I’ve had a bit more time to break ‘er in.

I don’t think things should actually be that difficult, but there is a little bit of a curveball in there. As for the logistics? Simple, Smart just has to correctly guess the brand, make and model of the bike (ie. Rocky Mountain Element 90)