For the love of the bike

IMG_3689Recently I got a new bike.
I wasn’t in the market for a new one. I didn’t even spend much money to upgrade after selling my old one, but, in a very real, cosmic, way (thought I don’t totally believe in such things, I just happily use such phrases tongue-in-cheek), this bike found me.

For those who care, it is a Mr Pink and is made by an awesome little bike company in Minneapolis called All-City.
It is a steel frame and is made up of a variety of parts that do not match but work really well.
The guy who built it did so for his wife, but she didn’t enjoy the ride. He sold it.
The guy I bought it from already had too many bikes and let it go. He might have a little seller’s remorse, but I can assure you I have no buyer’s remorse. It is excellent. It is a much bigger step toward a dream bike than I ever thought I would get to take at this point in my cycling journey and for that, I give great thanks.

Tonight I took it for a ride, my third this week. It was a good ride.

But the thing is, as this bike rests in the corner of our hallway each day, I feel like it calls me to ride. It want’s to be ridden. It wants to go fast and set PRs on Strava Segments. It wants me to enjoy the ride, to look up from the bike computer to take in the corn and tobacco fields. It wants me to bomb down hills, crawl back up them patiently – sometimes I need to try to drive up them quickly – and beyond those simple examples, it just wants to be ridden.
Or, maybe I just really want to ride it every chance I get.

When I got my last bike, a craigslist special that I paid $350 for and rode 1500 miles on last year, one of the first comments someone in the riding group offered when helping me with a mechanical issue was, “you need to get a lighter bike.” I am not sure how much lighter Mr Pink is than the Satellite Sport I just sold, but it is marginal. Nevertheless, I love riding it and, that is what riding is about.

Irene Bond, on this wonderful cycling website called redkiteprayer.com wrote about bikes like this in a more beautiful way than I have here, but I share the feeling. I too have a great love for my heavy steel bike (with ridiculous carbon wheels, which I also love). I too, though I want to get faster and stronger and to lead the group rides someday. But I too, more than all that, already know that I want to enjoy the ride. That is definitely what cycling is about.

You know, I would love that for you too. Cycling is fun. Forget the doping headlines in recent years. Despite the fact that people think we need to share the road better (they are usually wrong). And even though you can get a workout much quicker by taking a run around the block, this conglomeration of cliches is true, when you find a love of the bike, you will really enjoy the ride.

So, grab a bike, and go. It doesn’t matter where you start, just start pedaling and see where the bikes takes you. Before long, that bike will be calling you from the corner and you will be happy to answer.

ps. IMG_3707

This was my old bike. It served me well. I passed it on, via craigslist, to a young lady who was looking for something to ride in triathlons. She had been riding her hybrid and was happy to upgrade. I was happy to share this to someone who would enjoy it as much as I love Mr Pink. I think we both won. I know we both are enjoying the ride.

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