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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there folks, new (kinda) member here. I last posted about 3 years ago seeking informaton on an old road frame I had been given. Anywho, I just got back into road riding, so I figured I would come check out the forums here once again.

I will try to be brief with my story, but I know I can be a bit long winded. I started riding the road (or mean streets of my college town) back in 2003 with my cheapo rigid mtb w/ road slicks. Soon, I decided to try a road bike and found a well preserved 1983 Trek 400 lugged steel road bike. This bike infected me with the speed bug thanks to the skinny tires rolling beneath, but I was turned off by discomfort. Those old, narrow drop bars were less than ergonomic and way too narrow for my broad shoulders. The bike was just a bit rickety too, so I upgraded (sorta) to a mid 80s Cannondale. That bike was incredibly light by my standards and the Shimano 600 drivetrain with indexed downtube shifters was the most flawless drivetrain I had ever seen. It was lightning quick. Despite its nice features, it was plagued by a rough, jittery ride not unheard of from earlier aluminum frame. It also had a similar riding position and comfort level as the Trek, so it made my hands ache which then stressed my lower back as I tried to support my torso and relieve the pressure from my hands.

The next 4 years were characterized by by a departure towards hybrid bikes and rigid mountain bikes w/ slicks. The flat or riser bars were certainly more comfortable for me than drop bars, but I could never get completely comfortable with just one hand position. Even when I had bar ends, I never liked those very much. I did manage to find some comfort in bars that have a lot of back sweep as they canted my wrists more comfortable and I came to really like Ergon brand grips.

Over the past 4 years, my riding has steadily declined. I was riding a lot during college because it was my preferred means of campus transportation and I lived in a small city where there was a decent amount of street riding in town and some nice country roads outside of town within just a couple of miles of my place. I moved back to my hometown which was a completely different beach. I basically didn't venture beyond my neighborhood as I was not comfortable with the amount of traffic on the major roads I would need to ride along.

Drop bar bikes had been pushed to the very back recessed of my cycling evoked set. I tried out a comfort hybrid with front suspension and hated that bike. Being a fan of vintage cruisers, I even tried a couple of those for my recreation and exercise needs. I finally thought I had landed on the perfect bike when I bought an Electra Townie 3 speed. This bike was super comfortable, so it succeeded in getting me outside and on a bike. For once I could concentrade on the scenery without worrying about my lower back, shoulders, and wrists. There was one problem with the bike, it is somewhat slow and does not promote higher cadence pedaling. I think perhaps it is the semi-recumbant position that works different parts of the leg. I knew I needed something that would work my lungs and get my heart rate up.

When I decided to buy a new bike, it was of course another hybrid because it would provide reasonable speed and efficiency with a tolerable riding position and comfort level. I had pretty much decided I was going to buy a Jamis Coda, which is actually more of a flat-bar roadie than your typical fatter-tired hybrid. Anyway, the time came for me to head to the shop to order my new bike. As I was looking at the bikes on the rack, I could not help being drawn to the Jamis Aurora touring bike. I actually have been drawn to this bike for quite a while. The steel frame, burly construction, and classic looks are a wow for me. I could not help but wonder how comfy this bike would be with its high rise stem and ergo looking drop bars.

Well, it was intriguing enough for me to take it home. After a test ride, I knew this was it. For the first time on a road bike, my whole body felt good. I just felt in a nice neutral position. I was quite surprised of the comfort from a more forward leaning bike (compared to a hybrid) because I have gained quite a lot of weight and have been suffering from increasing lower back problems as a result. This is the whole reason I recognized the need for a bike that will provide me a better cardio workout. When I bought the bike, I was a little concerned that it would end up not being comfortable.

The proof is in the pudding as they say, because I have been riding my crazy since I brought it home exactly 1 week ago. I know I haven't had the bike that long, but I literally hve put more miles on this bike in a week than I have put on most of the other road-going bikes I have owned, with the exception of my college commuter bikes. In this past week, I have ridden 103 miles! I know there are a lot of people that ride that far in a day, but it is quite an accomplishment for somebody my size. I am 6'1', 262 lbs so I definitely am not terribly svelte.I have already lost 3 lbs this week. I am already sleeping better, feeling more energetic, wake up quicker, and have a greater range of motion.

I think I finally nailed down why I have been able to ride more than I have in my entire life. It is a combination of the bike's comfort, efficiency, variety of riding in this area, and my love of bicycles. I have always loved bicycles. Many of my bikes have also been quick and efficient to ride. At one time in the past, I lived near a lot of good road riding. The biggest factor that has been missing most of the time is comfort. For the first time, all 4 factors have come together.

Well, this has gone too long as I was afraid. I just wanted to share my story as I reintroduce myself to these forums. I look forward to being more active on this board. Thank you,

---Aaron
 

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Well that's a refreshing story and congratulations on finding the perfect bike, your first week mileage is impressive. You're going to get in better shape in no time at that rate. But tell me, where do you work that you can ride that much! haha. Jamis makes great bikes, enjoy it and thanks for posting that motivational prose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I work for a big insurance company doing subrogation (recouping money that we paid out in a claim that was caused by somebody else or a defective product which is cool because it is the one time an insurance company gives back to its customers). It is a typical 8-5 desk job. So, after I get home, fix some dinner, I still have an hour and a half or so to ride. I can squeeze in longer rides on the weekends, so that helps get my mileage count up. I figure as I get in better shape, my speed will increase and I can ride longer in the same time. My job is also very flexible on when I work. I plan on switching to 7-4 when daylight savings ends so I can still ride before it gets dark and eat dinner afterwards since I can do that safely in the dark, haha. I figure that using the extra hour of sleep to get up one hour earlier to go to work won't jack up my sarcadian rythyms too much.
 
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