Spencer Summerfield: For The Love Of Riding

By Spencer Summerfield, member of the 2016 Recharge With Milk Ambassador Team

Years ago I had to sell my Cannondale CAAD 8 to buy my TT ( Time Trial) bike and I have missed it ever since. The sport and Triathlon & Duathlon is not exactly cheap with membership fees, grocery bills, equipment, clothing, racing and much much more. It becomes a lifestyle, a healthy addiction in a way but expensive none the less.  Like most people I started on a road bike but soon realized that I was missing out on the “aero” advantage offered by a TT bike. I won’t get into detail here but in the quest for speed I sold my 1 year old road bike to afforded a TT frame. Purchasing a 2010 Argon E112 frame and building it up over the years and now it is a real race machine. While it gets the job done aerodynamically speaking there has always been something missing that the road bike had. This is important because now no matter the occasion on my TT bike I can not ride slow,  I am wired to work hard to push and racing is all I think about while I ride it. Gone was the feeling of freedom that I associated with my road bike gone was the freedom the sense of enjoyment to a certain extent. Until I decided to do something about it this feeling was not going to go away. I started to slowly put away money every month some months it was $20 or $80 I had a plan an idea of building something budget conscious that would hopefully restore the part of bike riding I was missing.

While all this was happening I read a Facebook post from John Salt, Founder and President of MultiSport Canada and he talked about how after years of riding he became wired to think of his bike as “work”. This resonated with me in a astonishing way because I was in the middle of building my “fun machine” in the hopes of restoring the love of riding to my own life.

I think I may be in love…..well, at least smitten. For 14 years the bike was simply a workout and a means to an end. It was all about 2, 3, 4, 5 hours or more, it was about numbers, improving, pushing and always work. Once I stopped racing in 2012 there were times when I got on a bike, but it was never about fun…it was like I was wired to think of the bike as work.

With a plan hatched I started just after the race season ended in late September/October. Even into the Fall I realized that I kept passing on group rides and could not enjoy cruising around on a sunny day on a TT bike in full aero. Being this was budget build I set out on a task of buying only used parts or using what I had in the parts bin to build my road bike. The only brand new parts I planned on purchasing was a chain, cables , and bar tape sourcing everything else through various used parts places on the inter-webs like eBay and Pink Bike.com. There was no rush this entire process was to be relaxed and enjoyable.

Read the entire For The Love Of Riding Article.