Thursday, December 1, 2016

I'm A Bike Guy Now

So I'm a bike guy now.  That right.  I bought a bike.  I'm going to go down the road with the wind in my oh so beautiful black hair. 

Of course, some of you may think I would look like this.

Of course, I have put on a few pounds over the years.  Some of you might think I look more like this.

I know some hot chicks will ask, "So you have a bike?  What kind is it?  Is it a Harley Dyna?"

"Is it the Honda Shadow Aero you always wanted?"

"Or did you get one of the new Triumph Bonneville's?" 

The truth is, I didn't buy a motorbike.  I bought a bicycle.  A Roadmaster Quarry Ridge 29.

To which the hot chick would reply, "What are you eight years old?"

Let me expound on this.  I have only had one bike in my life.  I let my sister's boyfriend borrow it when he lost his driver's license.  One day when he was returning home, it got a flat tire.  He "hid" it in the woods and planned to come back later and retrieve it.  By the time he did make it back it was already gone.  "Finder's keepers, Adrian's weepers."  Why he just didn't walk with it home, I'll never know.  He never told me.  My sister had to tell me after they broke up. 

So I wanted a bike.  I looked around but noticed a few problems.  Most men's mountain bikes had 24 or 26 inch tires.  A lot of the reviews said they were good for 14 year old boys, but not fully grown men.  I looked around some more, but realized I needed more information.  After all, I haven't had to look at bikes for over 15 years. 

I went to University Bike Shop.  I know they had been around a while.  I didn't realize it was since 1972.  I told the salesman named Rick that I didn't know anything about bikes, and he would have to talk to me like an eight year old.  His shop specialized in higher end bikes.  He had a lot of touring and really fast bikes. 

He asked me what my price point was.  I told him I had a bit of sticker shock in that, that bike over there cost more than my Ford Focus's blue book value.  After showing me the lowest priced new bikes, he asked if I was interested in a used bike.  I told him that since I was sure to crash into a few mailboxes, I would prefer a used bike. 

We went to a few places in the store.  He showed me a rack in the back, and there it was.  The bike that was just right.  It was a used Wal-Mart special.  A Roadmaster Quarry Ridge 29 men's mountain bike.  This one was big enough to handle my weight.  It also had 29 inch really wide tires.  That was important to me as this bike wouldn't turn on it's side when I rode it.  This one, unlike the bikes my friends had when we were kids, actually had front shocks on it. 

Admittedly, I paid a little more than I should have for this particular used bike, but there was a reason.  They set this bike up.  If I bought a bike, I would have needed it set-up, and that would cost $50.  So it was well worth it to me that they already had it properly set-up by guys who knew what they were doing. 

So look at it this way.  If I bought a bike on Craigslist for $40, I would have needed a $50 set-up.  Then I most likely would have needed to buy a few parts to replace any broken or worn parts on the bike.  That would have ended up costing me more than I spent on the bike.  Also, the bikes I looked at weren't as big as the Roadmaster. 

I mean, look at the size of that tire.  It's big and wide. 

Also, the bike has 18 gears.  That's 15 more gears than I need.  I was used to a bike with three gears.  I asked Rick if he had any bikes with just three gears.  He said, they don't make mountain bikes with just three gears.  Seriously, look at all these gears.

Also, look at the actual gears.

That's a lot of frickin' gears.  Rick told me to put it in third gear on the one side, and use gears, 4,5, and 6 on the other.  In other words, I'll use three gears.  Once I got home I took it for a ride.  And you know what?  I did exactly like Rick said, and it worked out just fine. 

I'll admit, I hadn't been on a bike in 15 years, and hadn't exercised in .... okay it's been a bit.  So a trip around the neighborhood was more than a little bit interesting.  The good news is that I didn't run into any mailboxes or parked cars.  I did have to yell at a squirrel to get out of my way.  He waited until the last moment to do so.  Furry rat.

My back is paying the price.  It's been giving me trouble for the last few years, so the bumps on the trail felt like giant speed bumps.  But I will hop back on the bike.  The first day is always the roughest.  Unless, the second day is.  In which case I will take it easy, and then work hard on the third day. 

I'm glad I have a bike and all, but unlike those motorcycle guys, I will never have biker chicks fawning over me.  That is my only regret.  That, and all those carbs.

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