Oh, aerobars of mine, will you ever forgive me?
You caught me red-handed, shopping for your replacement this weekend. I am so very ashamed.
The snake that led me astray is a vision of beauty called the Vision Aero Drink System. Doug, the owner of Assabet River Bicycles, unearthed this gem in June when I asked him to find an aerodynamic between-the-aerobars-mounting water bottle to address my, um, rapidly evolving drinking problem: as I’ve tackled longer distances, hydration has become a rather serious issue—especially during races. The caged bottles affixed to Maverick’s down tube are just fine for training rides, but during races out of sight means out of mind; the net-net is that I can dehydrate myself in the saddle til I’m past shriveled prune status (which does nothing for the run that’s still to come). Even when I do remember to drink I worry that the motion of reaching down to Mav’s down tube will cause race-focused/clumsy-by-nature me to swerve and crash. If fluids were right in front of my nose, I thought, I couldn’t possibly forget or swerve.
When Doug introduced me to the Vision Aero Drink System it was aero love at first sight. I was seduced by The System, wooed by its sexy dual-chambered design capable of holding half liter each of water and Cytomax with separate straws resting a mere inch from my lips. I was captivated. Shaped like an arrow, it went straight to my heart. For $83 plus tax, this Vision of beauty was mine all mine. I snapped it up, brought it home and promptly attempted to Velcro it into the space between your arms.
Uno problemo: you’re a centimeter too slim to receive it.
I know, I know: in every other way you are perfect for me. Your uniquely conjoined arms enable my preferred riding position–fingers laced together. Your upwards angle perfectly relieves the pressure on the ulna nerves I didn’t even know I possessed until many miles inflamed them. Not to mention your embrace. You’re the most excellent, consistent nuzzler in my life. In fact, it was in your arms that I realized my then-weeks-old Cannondale Six must be male–the euphoria that washes over me when I drape my forearms around you could only be sourced by some serious testosterone.
Before your installation, I reallyreally liked my bike. After, I not only loved it, I loved him.
I did my best to keep my cheating heart covert, but a few souls found out. Not a single one of them supported my plan to ditch you in favor of something that’d support this new Vision of mine. Daughter #1 was aghast, saying it was tantamount to rejecting Maverick himself. Bike Shop Doug offered me a refund or store credit on the Vision, thought I was joking when I asked if he could find me wider bars instead. While the guy at GearWorks was also taken in by the Vision, he urged me not to mess around with my setup a mere 13 days before my biggest race of my fledgling “career” as a triathlete (i.e. Nationals).
Clearly they didn’t understand that the Vision is more than a mere water bottle; it’s a complete hydration system. And so I looked. I touched. I imagined how they might nuzzle me were they mounted atop my handlebars.
But then I came home to you—sweet, marvelous, conjoined-and-perfectly-angled you. And in our two-hour endurance ride that turned into 2:20 because we were having too much fun for it to end, I knew my dalliance was done.
There will always be a Vision out there ready to woo, but please know you are truly unique; I’m not nearly as committed to other cycling accessories as I am to you. Case in point: the trusty Mavic Aksium wheelset that has carried me all 2,293 miles I’ve ridden since last June. Those Aksiums will be axed for The Big Day. Yes, I’ve rented a sweet set of Zipp 404s that’ll shave seconds if not minutes off my time at Nationals–make that our time. And I’m not feeling the least bit guilty.
Aerobars of mine, you’re different. I assure you last weekend’s shopping trip was spurred by a momentary lapse of reason and I beseech you to forgive me my dalliance. Can we please just forget this ever happened, pick up where we left off?
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I didn’t take Doug up on the offer for a refund or store credit. I’d like to remain friends with the Aero Drink System, so I’m keeping The Vision in my closet. It’s strictly platonic. Honest. I hope you are alright with that. You’ll just have to trust me on this. OK?