Triathlon Challenge: From spin bike to road bike
March 19th, 2011
02:16 PM ET

Triathlon Challenge: From spin bike to road bike

Joaquin Brignoni is one of six CNN iReporters selected to be part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.  He and his teammates each received a new Cannondale road bike as part of the challenge. They're learning to ride their new speed machines - slowly, but surely.

"It's time to ride!" my coach said as we reviewed my weekly training schedule. I felt a jolt of excitement to jump off the 6 a.m. spin bike and hit the real road.

We met on a Friday afternoon at a local trail near my coach’s home in Winter Garden, Florida. I was super excited because I had never ridden a road bike before. So, once I arrived, I quickly unhitched my new wheels, put on my helmet and I was ready to roll.

I decided priority No. 1 was to stay focused on remembering to unclip early with the same foot before every stop. I’m proud to report no falls on my first ride!

As I began to pedal the bike's rapidly increasing speed became intimidating. I had never moved that fast on anything without a motor before. I was fully aware that any sudden movements could send me flying over the handlebars like a slingshot.

I was nervous to take my hand off the handlebars to grab my water bottle. So hydrating for the first time while riding really made my heart rate jump! Yet, I successfully managed to drink twice without running off the road. I felt like a pro.

Once I got comfortable with the speed, I relaxed more, focused on adjusting my hand positions and using hand signals to communicate with riders behind me.

My first experience on a road bike was awesome and I can not wait to feel the thrill of racing through the streets of New York City!

Until then...I’ll work on shifting gears as I blaze the local trails.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.