January 25, 2011

Jeans and Bike Fit - Featured Writer Jill Shirley

I have known Jill for a long time.  To me she resembles an Olympic athlete.  Strong body, and a strong mind - she has no limits.  It wasn't until recently that she jumped into the sport of cycling.  She contacted Brian and I interested in a women's specific fit.  A bike that she could have for years to come.  A bike that would fit her.  Jill's bike!  After her build and her cycling event I asked her for a few words regarding her custom fit.  These are her amazing words. 

A Great Pair of Jeans - Featured writer Jill Shirley
A dear friend of mine once explained her love of cycling like this,

"One of my very favorite things to do in this world is to be in a place where I can feel the wind. Growing up it was always perched up on a rock or a peak in my mountains, the wind would blow and I would feel as if it was cleansing me, blowing all of my stress, my worry or fear into the valley below.

I have now lived in North Carolina for almost seven years and it has been hard to find the perfect spot to sit and be cleansed by the wind.  I have felt an ache in me to be back in a place where I can have a daily dose of height and wind but here I am, in this beautiful but relatively flat green oasis.  So finally, finally I have found something that fills me with that same familiar thrill.

My bicycle.
I can go so fast, the wind rushes over me and as I gaze over the corn fields, the red barns and the beautiful sky I feel cleansed."

Though my words are not as eloquent as hers, I feel a love for cycling as well. It's the peace I have when I'm out riding. I don't know if it comes from the rhythm of the cadence, the solitude and beauty of the miles and miles of fields around me or just the pure peace I have of letting everything go... just for a few hours. Nothing else matters for those couple of hours except me and my bike.

Almost every cyclist I have ever talked to has shared with me basically the same eerie phenomena; you and your bike become one. I know, I know, it sounds a little bit "Star Wars-y" but honestly, in order to achieve that complete peace while cycling, you have to become one with your bike. Your bike needs to be an extension of you. The bike you ride makes all the difference in the matter.
Riding the right bike for you can either make or break the love you have for the sport. If you ride a bike that doesn’t fit you correctly, you may never find that perfect peace. I was lucky enough to have a Bella Rosa custom-made bike made specifically for me. Custom-made bikes ensure a perfect fit whereas stock models are just that, stock. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense; everyone is built so different, why would you settle with one that isn’t made just for you. You wouldn’t borrow jeans from just any friend, would you? That friend would have to have the exact same build as you. In fact, I dare say that you’d rather wear your dirty jeans that fit you good rather than wear someone else’s jeans that don’t fit you at all. It’s like that with custom-made bikes. You’d rather look into having a bike made specifically just for you than ‘try’ to make those stock models work for you. I LOVE my Bella Rosa bike. As dorky as it sounds, it’s just an extension of me that works in complete sync with my every move. I’ll be looking forward to greeting you out on those long roads of complete peace and beauty.
Jill Shirley
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