It's been ages since I've been able to say, "Hey! Get offa MY NEW BIKE!!"
I do remember my first bike. It was a Raleigh -- blue -- and I walked around with a scab on my inside left ankle bone for as long as I had that bike because chain guard was too close to the pedal. Sometimes I'd remember before there was bleeding, but I'd have to hold my foot in a funny (and unnatural) position on the pedal to avoid being nicked. No fun.
I also remember taking a bad fall in loose gravel on that bike, and still have the scar on the first knuckle of my left-hand ring finger to show for it... that was back in 2nd grade!
At some point I got a big ol' Schwinn -- maybe a 3-speed, but I don't remember. We were living in a new subdivision, in a fairly large area of new development, and I rode my bike the back way to a new friend's house two subs over. I got stuck. In mud. I remember stopping to survey the situation and deciding that I'd be able to ride through; I was in the thick of it, of course, right in the middle, when I realized I couldn't. Tires thick with mud, my shoes thick with mud, alone, scared, crying, muddy it might even have started to rain... did I mention the mud? It was my first personal "Twilight Zone" episode. I don't recall exactly how that story ended -- I'm willing to bet I powered and pushed my way through, determined not to die in a big mud puddle.
I picked up MY NEW BIKE after work yesterday. I bought the Trek FX for a couple of reasons:
- First, it's a really nice bike! And it's red -- Carmine Red!
- Second, since Trek's headquarters are in Waterloo, it's "local." I know that they don't actually make bikes like mine in Waterloo anymore, but the design center is still there and they employ people there -- and I have a personal connection to a number of people who live and work there. While no one I know actually works for Trek, the company does provide employment and, presumably, pays taxes and does their part to support local business, government and education there.
- Third, price. I didn't buy the cheapest bike, but it's far from the most expensive off-the-shelf regular-people bike, not to mention the handmade variety that they do still make in W'loo for the likes of Lance.
Maddy borrowed my car yesterday, so I had hers when I went to pick up MY NEW BIKE. I realized on the way over that we paid more for my bike than we did for her car -- a fact that I mentioned to the young man helping me load it up. He said, "Well, then you're just like most of the guys around here! They all ride $6,000 bikes and drive $400 cars!" Haha. Yeah. No. I didn't pay anywhere even CLOSE to $6,000 for my bike. GAWD! I can't imagine spending $6,000 on a bike!! I could buy a damn nice camera with that kind of money, though... and don't think I haven't already made the photog vs. cycling comparison! I did buy the bike with photography in mind; while it's not a camera body or a lens, photography was a big motivator for buying the bike.
That and fitness.
So, the maiden voyage was last night. I rode 5.3 flat, paved, residential, non-photogenic miles. My on-board computer reported that my top speed was 18mph, though I suspect that was a coasting downhill speed; I actually saw it hit 14 as I was actually pedalling. I took my time and took it easy. I feel it a little in my legs this morning, but in a most excellent way; however, my butt's going to want the padded bikewear moved right up to the top of the priority list!