Fenty's $4,000 Bike?

bike.jpg
Mayor Adrian Fenty's people recently handed me a copy of the city's new D.C. Bicycle Map hot off the presses. Developed by the city's Dept. of Transportation, the map details in red ink the bike lanes on city streets, off-street trail biking and sidewalks. There's also a message from the mayor, which reads in part: "I ride my bike to stay in shape and complete in triathlons."

The most striking feature, though, is a picture of Fenty on his bike. Fenty is wearing a skin tight yellow muscle shirt and black spandex shorts, a white bike helmet and sleek wrap-around sunglasses. The caption says the picture is from the 2006 Nation's Triathlon.

Fenty's bona fides as a marathoner and triathlete are well-established. I regularly hear from people about how fast Fenty is (he runs sub-8-minute miles in training and even faster in races). WTOP reporter Mark Segraves has run with Fenty and admits to falling behind after two miles (though to be fair to Segraves, he had to carry recording equipment with him). A colleague at the Post saw Fenty running just after 6 a.m. with a headlamp on, leading a chain of runners up a hill in Northwest in the darkness.

I did a Google search to try to find more information about Fenty's performance in the Nation's Triathlon, which was actually a duathlon(*), with the swim portion cancelled due to bad weather. Fenty's split times on this site were incomplete, a fact he attributes to the fact that he and his dad mistakenly wore two different computer time-keeping chips that somehow confused the computer. Fenty's final time of 2:03:46 was good for 101st place, while his father Phil finished in 2:37:56, good for 293rd place. (Fenty's father is pictured behind him in the photo on the city's Bike Map).

A final note: Fenty isn't riding your ordinary streetbike. He's riding a Cannondale racing bike. He wouldn't disclose how much the bike cost, though he acknlowedged it was "expensive." I'd say. Check out this typical model at more than $4,000.

I have a copy of the photo of Fenty in the triathlon, but I am trying to figure out the copyright restrictions, since the picture is owned by the Nation's Triathlon (the city paid $35 for the right to use it on the Bike Map). I will post the photo here soon if I am legally able.

(* This word has been corrected thanks to alert readers who note that "biathlon" is a cross-country skiing, shooting event, while "duathlon" is the biking/running event Fenty competed in. As a former sports writer, the author should have known better.)

By David Nakamura |  February 1, 2007; 8:00 AM ET
Previous: Council Payroll Problems | Next: When the Mayor Had Hair

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



I hope the mayor's enthusiasm will carry over to other D.C.-area communities.

Posted by: celestial.one | February 1, 2007 09:44 AM

Interesting...though several things bother me about this post. First, if you've ever seen the triathlon gear heads that are obsessed with their bikes, then you would know that it is not abnormal that a triathlete has a 4k bike. So for the mayor, who certainly makes far more than an average person, AND competes in races, to have en expensive bike, doesn't suprise me. Second, you are making an assumption about his bike in this post. You have him quoted as saying its expensive. But the link to a "typical" model, is a link to a top of the line Cannondale. What makes it a typical bike?

When triathletes compete in races, they get equipment that make them better and faster. Since average people have these types of bikes, why is it so wrong of him to have one? Don't punish him just because he's the mayor...he's a role model for anyone who claims they have too busy a schedule to exercise. Try training for a triathlon AND being major.

Posted by: ajlesser | February 1, 2007 09:50 AM

As he comes from an athletic background, none of this should be surprising.

His parents are will know in the running community because of their shop in Adams Morgan.

I have personally ridden with his brother who also races bikes. He is WAY faster than Adrian, tho. LOL!

And 4 grand is about right on a top quality bike.

Posted by: keithrjackson | February 1, 2007 09:55 AM

Why is the headline of this article based on a part of it that is merely incidental to the topic?

Posted by: scotrell | February 1, 2007 09:59 AM

This article is asinine. Did he spend public funds on the bike? Is he riding the bike instead of going to important meetings? Or is the Post just trying to engage in a little class warfare because he can afford the bike? (p.s. really nice bikes cost more than cars)

Posted by: rockstarwolf | February 1, 2007 10:08 AM

Yes, this is completely asinine. Who cares? People who make far less money spend more money - yearly - on their [insert hobby here].

Stupid.

Posted by: junkdalejreyes | February 1, 2007 10:10 AM

What is the point of this article? My husband just started training for a triathlon as a beginner in August and he spent $1600 on a bike. Also, as another commenter mentions, just because the website has a price doesn't mean that's the one you'll end up paying. Many bike stores have sales all the time - just like any other type of store. Are you trying to say he makes too much money?

Posted by: mmccluney | February 1, 2007 10:21 AM

Yes, good bicycles can be expensive - a fact that always seems to shock people who are non-cyclists... like I suspect Mr. Nakamura must be.

If he was a cylcist he'd know that performance bikes cost more and $4,000 isn't a lot for a serious cyclist to pay. Here's a little info - if you want a decent road bike, you typically have to figure that you'll start at $1,000. At the top of the line - those highly specialized and personalized bikes ridden by Tour de France professionals would cost at least $10,000 and up. Fenty's ride isn't top of the line - it's in line for what I would expect of a frequent cyclist or triathalete who wants a performance machine.

Jeez. How about a little context here.

Posted by: dbjackso1 | February 1, 2007 10:39 AM

Many serious triathletes will spend $4K on wheels alone, not to mention a nice frame. What is the point here? Top quality anything is expensive, and Fenty's bike probably is at the low end of "serious" gear. With his connections to the tri world I'm sure he was able to pay much less than MSRP.

Oh, and the Nation's Tri was changed to a duathlon, not a biathlon. I don't think the Secret Service would have been too happy with folks squeezing off rifle rounds in the city, not to mention the complete lack of snow during D.C. summers ...

Posted by: tedeastwick | February 1, 2007 10:40 AM

Anyone can go to a local bike shop and throw down 400-500 bucks for a cheap road bike. One cannot go and pick up a cheap tri-bike (the bike pictured above is a road bike, not a bike designed for tiathlons). A competitive road bike will run from between 1200 for beginners to 9 or 10k for elite cyclists (and by elite I mean people who train for and ride in category 1 or higher races. BTW, anyone can go out and buy the bike the pro's ride, this isn't like formula one). Because the market for tri-bikes is not as great as for competitive road bikes, they are a little cheaper in the mid range and much more expensive in the high range. Lance Armstrong's time-trial bike, which anyone off the street can buy, will cost you most of 20k. Most people can't fathom spending that much money on a "bicycle". As a former collegiate cyclist and former racer, I understand both the want and need to have a bike of such high caliber. If you worry that the mayor is spending his personal funds frivolously, consider how much he is NOT spending on health insurance, diabetes medication and high blood-pressure medication. On a personal note, I've probably spent 25k in the last five years on my bikes (yes, more than one. More than 4) and biking gear.

One more thing: good for him for trying to get DC out of the gutter when it comes to being cycling friendly.

Check Out:

www.trekbikes.com

www.bikes.com

www.cervelo.com

www.bianchiusa.com

www.specialized.com

Posted by: jschiappa | February 1, 2007 10:46 AM

What's the big deal? 1. $4,000 may seem like a lot but it isn't outrageous for a racing bicycle--assuming that it wasn't a gift from some favor seeker. 2.I would much rather see someone spend a lot on a bicycle which can only improve the city than on a car and all the damage it can do to the city. What I would really like to hear is that fenty cycles to work and stops using one of those hoorid black suvs.

I am sure that fenty is going to do things to offend people all over the map. why not wait until he does something that has significance instead of picking on him over a bicycle of all things.

Posted by: fishmandesign | February 1, 2007 11:26 AM

What's the big deal? 1. $4,000 may seem like a lot but it isn't outrageous for a racing bicycle--assuming that it wasn't a gift from some favor seeker. 2.I would much rather see someone spend a lot on a bicycle which can only improve the city than on a car and all the damage it can do to the city. What I would really like to hear is that fenty cycles to work and stops using one of those hoorid black suvs.

I am sure that fenty is going to do things to offend people all over the map. why not wait until he does something that has significance instead of picking on him over a bicycle of all things.

Posted by: fishmandesign | February 1, 2007 11:26 AM

What's the big deal? 1. $4,000 may seem like a lot but it isn't outrageous for a racing bicycle--assuming that it wasn't a gift from some favor seeker. 2.I would much rather see someone spend a lot on a bicycle which can only improve the city than on a car and all the damage it can do to the city. What I would really like to hear is that fenty cycles to work and stops using one of those horrid black suvs.

I am sure that fenty is going to do things to offend people all over the map. why not wait until he does something that has significance instead of picking on him over a bicycle of all things.

Posted by: fishmandesign | February 1, 2007 11:27 AM

The tight yellow "muscle shirt" is rightly termed a "bicycle jersey". He should commission and wear one with the DC flag on it, it could be sold through his folk's store with some of the proceeds going to charity. I bet lots of people would buy one.

Posted by: mlbjorge | February 1, 2007 11:32 AM

I simple Google search for that "typical" bike shows it as being available for $2500. Did you pick the $4000 price as an example because it's more sensational?

Posted by: loaf667 | February 1, 2007 12:04 PM

The article could have focused even more on Fenty's love for triathalons or how he's the fittest mayor of any major American city or that there are thousands of other DC residents who are just as passionate and driven about their training. But you reported the cost of his bike, with the tone of the article implying that something was wrong with spending $4,000 (on doing something you love).

Please do a follow up article on the number of government workers who spend their paychecks on Redskins season tickets or who buy a Lexus when we all know they should just drive a Honda. I speak for the cycling masses who spend $1,500 on our ride, but wish we could afford (and would spend it if we could) the Mayor's bike.

The article implies something's amiss when instead Fenty should be praised for his hobby.

Posted by: thingsthatshine | February 1, 2007 12:43 PM

Road bikes are all expensive. I spent over $1000 building up a decent bike from spare parts I got on EBay. And I am not using it for competition. The materials and precision engineering are expensive. And you need that if you are planning to ride more than a couple of miles now and then.

Posted by: joe | February 1, 2007 12:50 PM

As a cyclist myself, I have nothing but praise for His Honor's devotion to the sport. However, he ought to try commuting to work on DC streets. I'm trying to call attention to the so-called bus/bike lanes on 7th street northbound and 9th street southbound, which are now routinely full of SUVs and other vehicles. Regarding my commute up 7th street, I've been finding myself "hunted down" and honked at by motor vehicles riding my bumper trying to get around me or intimidate me to get out of the so-called bike lane. Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Fenty can show his appreciation for fellow cyclists by having the MPD enforce traffic rules on the "bike lanes"? Just a thought...one that I shall convey directly to Mr. Fenty.

Ernie Hazera

Posted by: oldtownwest | February 1, 2007 12:51 PM

This is an idiotic article and the person who wrote the headline should be ashamed of him or herself.

Why do you think we care what the mayor spends his private money on?

Grow up.

Posted by: test | February 1, 2007 02:26 PM

Mayor Fenty's hobbies (unless they're illegal) have no business on a "city politics" blog. I'm sure something more relevant and important could have been brought to our attention.

Posted by: katie.yocum | February 1, 2007 02:42 PM

Quote from the article: "There's also a message from the mayor, which reads in part: 'I ride my bike to stay in shape and complete in triathlons.'"

I certainly hope the typo there ("complete" instead of "compete") is the work of this writer and not on the DC bicycle map. Unfortunately, I've seen enough of DC-issued publications and of pages on the DC.gov Web site to have to wonder.

Posted by: leonardma | February 1, 2007 02:47 PM

Just to add to the sentiments here: Who cares? Why don't you mention his vehicle (a Ford Expedition) which costs ten times as much? Or his house? Or some other completely irrelevant item? Except, somehow, he's made to look bad because he has a nice bike.

Posted by: heydanno | February 1, 2007 04:02 PM

I want that two minutes of my life back. What a horrific waste of time. I don't understand why this is published, let alone under the heading of "city politics".

Posted by: clarkschier | February 1, 2007 04:36 PM

As a serious, non-racing, cyclist I am happy that there finally is a Mayor in DC who rides a bike. At least there might be some attention paid to the terrible lack of any bike friendly planning in the district. Since moving here 8 years ago, I have probably wreaked $4,000 of equipment because of the sorry condition of bike lanes and trails in the district.

Posted by: crete | February 1, 2007 05:02 PM

The Nation's Triathlon was actually a biathlon? Funny, I don't remember any target shooting.

It would have been great if there was a link to the new map. But even better if this writer had bothered to realize that the proper term for a race that involves running and biking is DUATHLON. A Biathlon involves skis and guns.

Posted by: lepanto | February 1, 2007 05:19 PM

He is a fast runner...I went out of the gate right next to him. But I took him on the bike.

And if he can help with the swim permitting process for next time, I'll take him there too!

Posted by: sdolge | February 2, 2007 09:44 AM

So, uh....what's the point? Is this supposed to be lambasting the new mayor for spending some cash on a bike or celebrating his athletic prowess? Could you not provide a link to the National Triathlon site so that we could search for the results ourselves?

Or am I just missing something?

Sam Felis
iTriTracker.com

Posted by: SamFelis | February 2, 2007 03:07 PM

Oh. By the way the above bike is a cyclocross bike (google the word)...
He probably does own a decent road bike, though. Someone at the Post probably just threw this image onto the article, not knowing there is a difference.
Do I win soemthing for being the only person to recognize cantilever brakes?

Posted by: nhritz | February 13, 2007 04:27 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company