Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ready for a new bike

Although I'm of the mind that the most important part of cycling and building a cycling culture is just getting out there and riding, it's also true that riding the right bicycle is still a big part of it.

Last Spring I bought a bike. An acceptable bike at an acceptable price that rolled, braked, changed gears, and carried my junk. Most of all, it served one supremely important purpose: it made me fall in love with cycling. It changed my world.

Alas, after a year of riding, its limitations became clear. In addition to not being step-through (enough), the cables run down the top of the top tube and I, with my short and inflexible legs, are constantly hitting them as I try to step over the bike. (The basket on the rack makes swinging my leg over the back not an option.) There's no chain guard so I have to wrap up the ankles of my work pants with those velcro things (but black ones, thank goodness). Lastly, the posture is too hunched over and I find myself riding leisurely through the park with barely my fingertips on the grips, just to be able to sit up a bit more.

You know it's time for a change when...

Admittedly, the handlebar-shape and -height may be able to be modified for a more upright ride, but with the other cons -- not to mention the fact that it's halfway between boring and ugly -- I'm ready to move on to something different. Besides, I don't own a car or any real estate or even fancy stereo systems or buy a monthly bus pass, so this is no place to be pinching pennies. My bike has become, for 8 months of the year, my primary transporation.

Up next: the bike(s) I have my eye on.

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