03 – bikes

So I finally took my bike out for a good ride. 20 miles and averaged 15MPH over mostly flat riding trails but there were a few inclines from going under or over roads. To be honest, I’m not hurting as much compared to after a 10-mile run. Sure, cycling is low impact, but I made a serious attempt to sustain a constant speed and go faster whenever possible.

I didn’t pay a lot of money for my bike. I traded my cruiser along with $100 for it. I tacked on another $60 in parts – a new seat, new handlebar, grip tape, angled stem, rim tape (to prevent flats) and a water bottle holder. Essentials, basically, and well worth it. My ass doesn’t hurt, staying hydrated is good, and I can climb inclines and go faster with the new bars.

I just wonder if I need *more* bike than what I have already. I think what I’m doing now will be about 90% of what I’ll ever do with a bike. It’s a single-speed, so  I’ve eliminated an upgrade path other than choosing gearing – but I think the ratio I have now (46:16) is a pretty good balance. If anything, I think I may eventually get some clipless pedals and shoes, but not anytime soon. I’m definitely not flipping the hub to use the fixed gear. I don’t know about you, but coasting is good for slowing down or turning.

Anyway, I’m just starting out, so I don’t know the difference between better components…like better brakes or a better bottom bracket. Makes no difference to me. Can the bike stop when I apply the brakes? check. Do the pedals turn when I push or pull them with my feet? check. Let’s ride.

I’m riding the bike to stay fit. I don’t need the latest and greatest – just something that will suffice and let me break a sweat and hopefully won’t hurt my taint.

I say this because as I rode along the bike trail from Irvine towards Newport Beach, there was another rider staying on pace with me and we both turned around at the same time. He was riding a full carbon fiber Felt road bike. Very nice and I’m sure very expensive. I don’t know if his ride was just a leisurely ride or if he was going balls-to-the-wall like me, but either way, my no-name Craigslist-find compared to his custom several-thousand-dollar bike did the exact same thing at the same speed.

I’m not upgrading my bike anytime soon. I’m thinking of covering it with stickers. I have a Thinkgeek monkey sticker that’s begging to be on a bright green bike.


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