Bike riding has been a passion of mine for many years. So much so that my husband bought me the following book one year for a Christmas present. Do you think he was trying to tell me something? The book, despite the silly cover, ended up being a very good read: a compilation of short stories written by people who love riding their bikes.
My first official bike purchase was back in the early 90's. I purchased a black and white Schwinn to ride around the city with my then boyfriend (now husband) who has always been an avid bike rider. I didn't know much about bikes back then, but I knew I wanted something sturdy, with fat tires, and gears. Yep, that's all I wanted, and that's what I got, keep it simple, right? After a few rides, I was hooked, and loved all the places I could ride that only a bike could go. The world looked brighter from the seat of a bicycle. See, don't I look happy in the photo below?
Later I discovered mountain biking, which added another element of fun, and a new obsession with finding new trails to ride. I'm now on my third mountain bike: a full suspension Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe GS, which I have owned for a few years. I'm not what you call an extreme mountain biker: I don't race, or take crazy chances, nor do I consider myself competitive. I enjoy the sport for what it does for my mind. My mind is always on hyper alert, and I'm constantly navigating, and controlling the bike when dealing with different obstacles.
In April of this year I started riding a road bike with dropped bars; I purchased a Specialized Ruby Elite. I never thought I would enjoy the geometry of a road bike, but the body posture is not that much different, as there are various ways to hold the handle bars, and plenty of options to gain comfort. The only drawback, was the thought of riding a road bike in lycra, which never appealed to me. But, I learned quickly that there are times when it's necessary. I will expand on the clothes I wear in future posts.
I also own a Haro Impulse rigid mountain bike (no suspension), which was also purchased in the early 90's, and previously owned by my husband. It was too small for him, so he passed it on to me. I use this bike when I just want to go for a quick ride, and not have to worry about my riding attire and wearing shoes with cleats.
Inspired by the beautiful bikes that I've been reading about in several of my favorite blogs (see blogs of interest), I'm also looking to add one more bike to my collection: a step-through bike, so that I can commute to work in my everyday work clothes, and run errands around town. Right now I'm considering and researching English, Dutch, and Italian bike manufactures. I'm also not ruling out finding something on craigslist, if the right opportunity comes along, such as the Raleigh Vintage Ladies Sports. The Raleigh Sports has a good reputation and was manufactured to last for years and fits the style of bike I'm looking for.