New Bike! And my first sponsor!

So the title says it all. This week I got my first sponsorship! I’ve been sponsored by Sugoi, an incredible Japanese run/bike/tri apparel company. I really love their stuff (their response jacket got me through winter training in Pittsburgh and the Antarctica marathon), I wouldn’t represent a company in which I don’t believe. I’m thrilled that they want me to be affiliated with them, particularly since I’m not an all-star athlete. Yes, I dream of placing in my age group and 7-minute miles and floating through the woods without an effort. But rarely am I that girl. Instead, I’m the busy student/athlete/volunteer who has placed last in her age group (ahem Pittsburgh triathlon), is more likely to see 9-minute miles and I trip when I run in the woods. Or on pavement. In fact, I trip frequently, sometimes over nothing and  I have scars to prove it. But what I hope Sugoi saw in me is my passion for sport, my joy when I connect with others and my dedication to improving our community, particularly for our youth.

I also got an invitation to be part of Big Bang Bikes cycling team. I’ve spent- not exaggerating- about 10 hours with the owner over the last week. He is incredible and helped me find an amazing bike which will be just what I need. He is so knowlegable and it is clear that he loves, and is very good at, what he does. They’re forming a women’s cycling team and are looking for a core group of dedicated women, some who will race regionally. I will not be a regional racer, but I am thrilled at the thought of riding with other dedicated women (one who I actually met through while soliciting information on how to improve my biking!). And a kit and store discounts aren’t so shabby either.

Since I hate posts without pictures, what do you think of my new bike? They built up a Cervelo S1 frame with a carbon crank, a Pinarello wheelset and included narrow handlebars with small drops so that my narrow shoulders and tiny hands can handle my bike. The S1 is an awesome step up because its seat post has flexible geometry so that it can be positioned for road or TT riding. This is particularly important for me because Pittsburgh is so hilly it’s tough to train on a TT bike here (as one bike shop owner said, the only flats are the transition from downhill to uphill). Throw in some clipless pedals and a set of aero bars I think I’m ready for some riding!

My baby. Names in the running: Intrepid, Artemis and Aphrodite. Leave any possible name suggestions as comments!

Aerobars on my narrow handlebars. I was told the standard handlebar width is 44 cm, the average female has 39 cm shoulders, and my shoulders are 36 cm!