As you may know, I got a new Trek Madone 6.5 Pro this year:The Madone, shown here with the training wheelset (the super-dope wheels come out on race day). 

Yes, it’s dirty.  I commute past a gravel pit every day.

Yes, I have a funky position due to my abnormally short arms and legs (thanks, Mom and Dad!).

Anyway, I love it.  I never really know how I feel about a road bike until I get a little racing done, and the first test was a big success.  The bike was snappy, solid when cornering, and most of all was really, really smooth.  This is my first time on a bike that is fitting this well, accelerating this quickly, and riding this smoothly. 

The component group works great.  Shimano Dura-Ace continues to evolve and set the benchmark.  SRAM Red is the hot group of the season, but I still feel like Shimano shifts more quickly, has better braking modulation, and a better feel at the lever.  Different strokes for different folks.

Now this bike has a criterium under its belt, it’s time for an entirely different test:  the Brown County State Park Road Race.  Hoo boy.  Last year it was 5 mph on the climb and 55 mph on the descent, and I was happy just to finish.  No sitting in the pack; that climb gives you nowhere to hide.  Either you’re strong enough to hang, or you’re not.

Even though I’m not going to finish well, I love this race.  The terrain is as challenging as anything you’ll find in Indiana, and taking that challenge on makes me feel like a real bike racer.

Goal:  expend enough energy to feel totally justified about ordering whatever I want at the HobNob.  I love Brown County!