Spring has finally arrived in Michigan! Although I had many chances during this year’s rather warm winter to ride in January and February, I’m very happy the seasons are changing. I was able to get my rides in this winter – as long as the weather is above freezing with no snow or ice, I’m on the road! Last year, I surpassed my 10,000-mile goal and received an invitation to ride for Rolo Bikes. This year, my goal is 20,000km (12,500 miles) and I’m confident that I can make it with four amazing bikes to accompany my journey: Ridley X-Night Ciclecross Bike, Specialized S-Works Venge, Specialized Venge, and the all-new customized Rolo Bike.
When the weather wasn’t suitable for a ride, I put the bike on a “Virtual Ride” simulator at my home in order to keep up with the routine through out the winter. The Zwift Training Race series is intended to bring the excitement and training benefit of cycle racing to the home by using the Zwift online virtual cycling service. It’s a first-person, forward-motion video experience that captures the resistance for uphill, downhill, and level terrain simulations. Just like riding in real life, I can choose to ride individually or join a group to race with. The software also collects data on the rider’s posture and fit. It was definitely a great way to stay on track over the winter, but to be honest, I still prefer being outdoors!
In early January, I went to Precision Bike Fitting in Fraser, MI to get measurements for Rolo Bikes. “The basic idea behind the Rolo frame design is that it has to fit the rider and have correct and predictable handling. These qualities may seem self-evident but surprisingly when they were designing the frame, the Rolo founders discovered that no other frame fits humans consistently across sizes. The result is that frame fits shorter riders in a more aerodynamic, more stretched out and less comfortable position, while taller riders are more upright than they should be. Because of the front end design, the bicycles handle in a more predictable and consistent manner, allowing riders to take better lines through turns and thereby maintaining a faster speed than other bicycles,” as Adam Wais, Founder of Rolo Bikes, discussed with me. “From an engineering point of view, Rolo frames are among the lightest and the stiffest in the world. They are also extremely comfortable because of the way flex was introduced into specific sections of the frame while maintaining high stiffness in others.” They hooked up wires to collect data of my movements and handling of the bike while I ride on the fixed bike indoor. It’s been a great experience and I’m excited to get the bike in spring!
While I look forward to receiving the all-new custom-fit Rolo bike, I went out on multiple rides throughout February and March when the weather permitted. Most of the rides were with the Team O2/Cadieux Bicycle Club, from local routes to a 3-Day Birmingham Loop through Birmingham, Michigan. I also rode to Oak Park Huntington Woods and the Detroit Zoo with my friends Chris Butler and E.J. Levy, though some of the days were extremely cold!
Near the end of March, I went on a 130KM (80.6mi) East to West CX Bike Triatholon with a group of friends. It was cold in the morning and we had to walk during some parts of the trails because of flooding. We also had to drive through the mud and “swim” with the bikes because the water level was too high. But the ride was still a lot of fun!
I also went on what might just be my favorite and best ride this year already – a 4-mile ride with my granddaughters on Orchard Trail! It was an excellent opportunity to spend time with them and I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it! We had a great time riding along the trail. It was a pleasure to share this hobby with them and I look forward to riding with them more this year.
Finally, the day has come for me to meet the new Rolo bike! The bike arrived just last weekend from Paris and it is everything I imagined and more. It is lightweight, firm, and I can’t wait to take it for a spin! The bike was at the SAE 2016 World Congress this week in Detroit, MI and it definitely caught a lot of attention. Everyone wanted to lift the bike and learn more about the entire design and build process.
I’m already 3,000 miles into my 12,500-mile goal this year, so I’m confident that I’ll achieve this goal! Now that the weather is getting warmer and warmer, I invite you to go out, take a walk or a ride, set a goal, enjoy what the beautiful nature has to offer, and join me in this year’s journey!
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