Photo: andrea joseph, Flickr Creative Commons
I will be starting in B wave this year. I could have used a race I ran in Feb. 2012 that qualified me for A wave last year, I just used last year's Peachtree time. Honestly, after taking two and a half months off for the knee issue, I'm not sure I still deserve A wave, especially when Peachtree is in the middle of triathlon season and I'll have stopped run-specific training months before the race. Once I achieved that goal of A wave, the starting wave assignments don't mean quite as much. It would be cool to post a sub-42 10k or a sub 20:15 5k and be able to run sub-seeded right behind the pros, but that can't be an immediate goal. I'm just not there, yet.
In other training news, I signed up for the Turtle Crawl Sprint Triathlon in mid-May. This is the same race I ran for my first triathlon back in 2011. I skipped it last year because of a wedding I had to attend (stupid family members who don't have the common courtesy of estranging themselves before getting hitched), but I'll be heading back this year. It's fairly close to home and it's at the beach, so the kids will be entertained. Plus, it's a good race. I'll also be going back to the Bandits Challenge in North Carolina this summer. Other than those two, my schedule is pretty light, and I'll probably keep it that way. Note to self: Really focus on hill training. Bandits is ridiculous with the hills.
I'm also really close to purchasing my second bike, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm going with a mountain bike. That decision has required a few shifts in my thinking. Because I've been saving for a racing bike this whole time, I had my savings goal set around $1,500. That seems to be the price where I can get a good time trial bike and the pricier bikes have diminishing returns. Sure, the $10,000 bike is better than the $1,500 bike, but not significantly more so than the $1,500 bike is over the $800 bike.
The thing is that with the mountain bike, my goal won't be racing. Sure, I'll inevitably start signing up for the occasional off-road triathlon and duathlon and may even do some mountain bike races, but I'll really just be getting this bike to enjoy riding trails. In other words, I don't need the $1,500 bike. I can actually get a good bike that will last and be safe for the money I have now.
I thought I had found my bike. REI had a 20% off of their outlet store deal and I found this. Good bike. Very good (but not top of the line) components. Twenty percent off would put it into a very reasonable price range for what it was and what I was willing to pay. The problem is that the 20% off thing was limited to the REI house brand Novara bikes. Back to the drawing board.
I did find a bike by Performance Bicycle's house brand that was an insane deal. The components are actually the bottom tier for SRAM, but then so are the components in all of the bikes in my new price range. It's an insane deal because it's an entirely carbon frame. For the non-bike geeks out there, that's crazy expensive normally, and this is running on sale for $950. It's slightly more than I'm planning on spending (and slightly more than I currently have saved), but a ridiculous deal. I am very tempted by this. Like I said, I will eventually do some racing on this and while I doubt I'll ever be competitive, this would be an ideal starter bike for that. I could always gradually upgrade the components to match the quality of the frame and have a very fast mountain bike.
Before I buy anything, though. I'm going to continue on with my research. I need to find out if carbon would be really stupid if it's going to be my only mountain bike (and it will, at least for a long while). The fact of the matter is that I won't find a better bike for that price, but if it's stupid to do anything but race on a carbon bike because they are less durable or something, why would I spend that much money on it? More than likely, I'll end up buying something with a good aluminum frame and the same level components for $100-$200 less. We'll see.
As for right now, we're heading up to Atlanta this weekend. I'm hoping I'll have time to work in a trip to the bike store (hopefully both Performance Cycling and Free Flite) to get an idea about sizing and talk to those guys about what I'd need to add to my research.