On Friday SSH and I took a trip to the local bike shop for two things. His 2 month old Raleigh needed it’s 8 week tune up and my 1995 Diamondback needed … well, it needed work.
Unfortunately “work” turned out to be pretty substantial. It needed a basic tune up, but also needed a new saddle, new hand grips, and there was something seriously wrong with the back wheel – it wasn’t out of true, but it was wobbling badly enough to make lots of noise. Also, the brakes needed to be completely rewired.
In 1995, a Diamondback Outlook cost about $200.
To fix that bike up to “usable” would’ve cost me more than $250, and “usable” would have been about the best they can do. Keeping up with SSH’s new Raleigh hybrid bike on the road? Probably just impossible. It was a decent cycle in 1995, but there’s a lot better technology today in terms of the amount of speed/energy you get for the amount of energy expended. Also, mountain bikes are squashy and smushy and have suspensions – ostensibly so you don’t break your tailbone while riding trails. Not really that useful when riding paved/cleared bike paths around here.
So several test rides later, I donated the Diamondback to the local bike shop’s bike repair program and drove home with a brand new bike on the back of the car.
It’s a Cannondale Quick – a hybrid cycle made for roads, paths, and light trail riding (less than 12 inch jumps). It’s FAST. Just pedaling around the driveway I can feel how fast it wants to go.
I honestly didn’t realize how much of a sluggish, mushy dinosaur my old bike was until I started testing out the newer ones. Even the cruiser style bikes, with coaster brakes and only 3 speeds and big smushy seats were easier to ride and better aligned. SSH and I took the bikes out for a spin Friday evening, just for a few miles to get the feel for it (and to break in the saddle – I’m rather sore in the sit-bones today). I was AMAZED at how easy it was to do 10mph, when before I was really struggling to get above 6-8.
Now I just hope the change from Daylight Savings doesn’t bork my ability to ride more days than not – it’s getting darker earlier in the evenings now, but fortunately we’re only about 6 weeks out from the Solstice. This marks the first time I’ve EVER had a reason not to go back to “normal” time, as I really don’t get along well with Daylight Savings, but I suppose shorter days are just a factor of November and “winter”.
I’m still really excited though, for a fun new toy and a form of exercise that SSH and I can do together. He really enjoys cycling, and I can’t wait to go along with him and actually be able to keep up!