Friday, March 15, 2013

Shifting bikes

I have a bike by the name of Herb. I procured it when we did a walk through Hampshire College after their move-out in May, geez, maybe in 2005 or so.

Yes, I dumpster dive. I left a beautiful white Peugeot 3 speed that I will forever regret not giving a home. But that's a story for another day.

Herb is shiny green and has all sorts of attached bells & whistles that broke long before it came home with me. And sometimes the gears just, you know, shift without warning and the angle of the bike versus me on it, usually ends up in an achy back by the time I'm done. I think the knobbly tires are working against me as well, as I primarily bike on concrete and not on mountain trails.

This bike has pulled two different laddies on their bike trailers and, as of last August, has taken me on a 20 mile round trip commute 2 days a week from August 2012-December 2012 and starting up again this week, when the snow finally receded enough for it to be safe for me to ride. (And man, was I ready to ride!)

But now, now I know I'll be commuting regularly. Not every day of the week, but at least twice a week, if not more.

I love getting some physical exercise first thing in the morning and seeing the landscape change through the seasons. Being slower than a ride in my minivan and closer to the ground, I have seen rare or early season sightings of turkey vultures, sharpshinned hawks, bunnies, chipmunks, turkeys and and AND a fisher cat last week!!! (Not technically a cat at all, but a member of the weasel family.) Biking also gives me ample opportunity to keep up with my favorite podcasts.

But it may be time to retire Herb and move up in the world of biking. Now it may well be time to invest (aack, spend money?!) in a commuter bike. Going to do some research and find out what I can on upright commuter bikes that won't put me in debt. While I realize the more you pay, it's likely the better the components, etc. But my budget isn't going to allow me a $1299 bike that I'll be afraid to leave alone on a bike rack. More to come soon!

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