My New Bicycle
A few weeks ago I mentioned to a friend that I was a road biker. Mistake! She rapidly rattled off the name of her bike and a bunch of techy jargon that I didn’t understand, and then asked the dreaded question, “So, what do you ride?”
“Um… I’m not actually sure. I think maybe it’s a like a Cannondale… or maybe that was my last bike?” I quickly changed the subject. “How’s that double skinny latte you just got? I’m thinking about getting one with whipped cream…”
I don’t remember the names of my bicycles or their parts. I don’t know what that gear changy thing is called, except that it’s attached to the bike frame and I have to lean down and push a lever forwards or backwards to get to lower or higher gears. My last bike, given to me by a friend, had three gears, but only two worked.
I don’t know the names of any brands, I bought my helmet at a thrift shop, my shoes are for clipless mountain bike pedals, my gloves are worn and holey, and I wear bike clothes given to me by friends and by Skirt Sports, a company that once sponsored my rock climbing endeavors. I’ll usually throw some rock climbing clothes (a windbreaker or a down puffy if it’s cold) into my panniers, which I always take with me. You never know when you might need to carry something.
Basically I’m a total gumby commuter cyclist. I sometimes bike longish distances (not more than 30 miles, though I aspire to more), but more often than not I’m just heading into or out of Boulder, or heading to a running trail for a jog. Once I even biked to my meditation retreat down in Crestone. Well, I took the bus, and then biked some 60 or 70 miles with an overnight at a campsite thrown in.
Not a bicycle trip goes by without at least a dozen (or 100) people passing me. I’m slow (probably because my bikes have been so old and heavy, right?). Or maybe it’s just that 90% of Boulder’s cyclists are sponsored racers—or at least that’s what it seems like since they all wear aero-dynamic spandex covered with sponsor logos and ride in huge, really fast determined packs. Sometimes I feel the energetic force of their approach giving me a boost of power that lasts for about 5 seconds until they whip by me, leaving me wobbling in a whirlwind. I usually just stop and pull over when I feel the vibration in the road.
With all that said, I love biking (and I hate driving and want to save gas this summer). So I recently bought a brand new (used) bicycle for
myself for my 39th birthday. I just went outside to look at it again (and to get the name of it for this article). It’s a Trek 2200, and it weighs about one-tenth of my other bikes. It has just a handful of spokes on the wheels (to save weight), it has no nicks or rust spots, and the gears change like they’ve been slathered with butter. It’s so awesome.
Furthermore, it’s apparently a really nice, expensive bike, or so said the cyclist who I passed as I walked out of Dave Chase’s Redstone Cyclery bike shop the day I bought it. “You paid how much for that? No way!” He said incredulously.
“Is that a good price?” I asked. I thought it might be, but only because Dave said so. Cool. I felt pretty good. Not only did I get an awesome bike, but I got a great deal on it. Smart shopper.
I was so excited about my new bike that I rode it every day after I bought it—to Boulder a few times, to Hygiene and back, around the Fruit Loops. I love love my bicycle. It feels like the coolest thing I’ve ever owned. I ride the wind when I’m on it, and I imagine that I’m a speedster. After all I shaved 10 minutes off my ride to Boulder. Maybe I should race? I should definitely try the Peak-to-Peak ride this year! It’s only 100 miles. Unfortunately, I guess I got a bit too enthusiastic on my sweet new rig, and somehow threw a rib out in my chest a few days ago. The doc says to stay off the bike for a few days. But, I’m so stoked. As soon as the shooting pain in my chest stops when I breathe, I’m getting back on that baby. I think I’ll get some slick spandex pants while I’m recovering, or shave my legs. Maybe I’ll be even faster…
Check out the Stonewear Designs Facebook page videos section to see the short, accompanying video to this article, entitled “My New Bicycle”.
By Lizzy Scully, Stonewear Designs Editor