...but I did get to ride a couple of bikes. Oh, yeah, and I bought one of them! Yes, that's right - I bought a bike!
But first, I might as well get the short TT rides down as a "workout" - I was pushing them pretty hard.
Bike: 2 x 5.6km (Mirror Lake plus a couple of hills)
Wow - that wasn't much of a workout at all. I certainly did the rides at and above tempo pace. The roads were quiet, the weather was cool, and I was certainly carb-ed up (we've been eating rather well since we got here). But trust me, I was sweating up a storm on these bikes - I'm sure they needed to be cleaned up when I was done.
First off, I must strongly - and I mean strongly - thank the folks at Planet Placid Bicycles. These guys are absolutely fantastic. They are all very experienced riders and mechanics, and extremely knowledgeable. Their bike selection is enormous, as is their selection of accessories and nutritional products. It's a Grade A bike shop with Grade A people working it. If you're ever in Lake Placid, you MUST stop in. You won't be disappointed.
I got to Planet Placid Bicycles at about 10.30am and they had a Cervelo P2SL on a trainer waiting for me. Travis measured me up, made some adjustments and then had me out the door for the first ride. Immediately I felt a huge difference from my Ridley Crossbow - body position was more comfortable and it felt like my power output had either increased or had become more efficient at reaching the road. The bike felt very fast, and it anticipated my every move - even before I knew what that move was. For as fast as that bike was, I found it almost "jumpy" and I had to keep my focus all the time to keep it under me. Definitely a high-quality racing bike in a low-cost form!
While the Cervelo is what I was keen on, I wanted to try another bike to compare. I wasn't really interested in the Kuota K Factor that they had (after doing more research) and the Cervelo P2C was a bit out of my price range (as was the Felt DA, and the Orbea Ordu - but they were gorgeous). I decided to try a Felt S22, a more aero frame that had carbon in the forks, chainstays and seatpost. Travis matched the measurements from the P2SL and I was out the door again.
The first thing I noticed was how stable the bike was. It actually took a bit to get used to the difference, but it was a much more relaxed ride. I could focus more on getting the pedals moving and finding my route down the road. The extra carbon made the ride a lot smoother, and once I got used to the bike's stability, I felt just as fast (if not faster) on this bike than the Cervelo. It must have been quick, because Travis didn't expect me back that fast. :)
After a tough bit of thought, I decided on the Cervelo P2SL. Travis told me that Kenny would be FIST fitting me at 1pm, so I got changed and ready to head back to the hotel for some quick lunch.
And before I stepped out the door, I found Travis and told him to put the Cervelo back on the rack. I took the Felt S22 instead.
After a quick lunch with my lovely wife at the Lake Placid Pub and Restaurant (yet another place I strongly recommend) I was back at 1pm for my professional fitting. Kenny is extremely knowledgeable, and after some good questions, a good eye and the use of some measuring/video capture software called Dartfish, I was setup for longer rides in about 50min...and I was sweating profusely. It was very cool to see my form and position on a video feed while seeing the dynamic measurements of body position and pedal stroke. After all that, it certainly does feel good in the fit. If there's anything off, I'll need to do a 2-3hr ride to find it.
The bike was rounded out with Ultegra SPD-SL pedals, a bottle holder off the back of the seat, and three cool Profile Design bottle cages. The bike looks very slick - exactly the way it rides. I'm super happy with this bike, and I'm even happier because of the price. I got $200 off MSRP, and the MSRP was lower than I could get in Canada. Even with duty charges, it's still cheaper.
The only bad thing -- no helmet. And for me, no helmet means no riding. I guess I'm stuck waiting until I'm back in Ottawa.