The most exciting thing to happen recently is that I got a new bike! It’s a Quintana Roo Illicito and it is hard for me to write something intelligent about it without sounding like a 14-year old girl with a crush. It is the most awesome bike I have had the privilege to own and I feel so lucky.
I fully admit that I didn’t need a new bike this season. My old bike, a QR Seduza, was perfectly serviceable and I liked it well enough. But when the chance came up this winter to get an Illicito through Kompetitive Edge, I felt like I couldn’t turn it down. I just knew I had to have that bike. Because I only work part-time and don’t have a lot of funds of my own, I can’t just run out and buy big ticket items whenever I want. Instead, I need the approval of my main tri sponsor … my husband. It took a few weeks to wear him down on the issue, but he finally realized how much I wanted the bike and how much it meant to me and how I am different from him in that I actually enjoy buying things and having new gear. He is more inclined to buy something and use it for a decade or two before replacing it, which is totally fine for him, but I’m not like that. I like the latest and greatest when it comes to tri gear.
This bike is special to me for another reason. It’s the first bike I picked out myself. Everything on the bike has been chosen by me or, more accurately, suggested by Ryan at KE and then chosen by me.
My first bike, a Specialized Allez, was picked out by my dad after we first moved to Colorado in 1999. It served me well for a long time and I still ride it several times per year out in California.
My second bike – my first tri bike – was a birthday gift Mark bought me several weeks before IM Cozumel in 2010. It’s a great starter tri bike. I road this bike in three Ironmans in 2010 and 2011, including in Kona last year.
Ryan has an eye for aesthetics and I completely trusted that he would help select a build that would be fast and light, but would look cool, too. Objective achieved. The components are SRAM Rival, which I love so far.
I haven’t had the chance to race the bike yet, but the early indicators are that the bike is FAST! The first weekend I had it, I road up Lookout Mountain at a moderately hard pace and beat all of my times from last year. I don’t understand wind tunnel data and all of the technical stuff about what makes one bike faster than another, but I look and feel fast on the bike and that will hopefully lead to some fast times this season.
Huge thanks to Kompetitive Edge for helping make my bike dream a reality and to Ryan at Kompetitive Edge for helping me select the build, for building the bike, and for creating such a kick ass machine!