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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