Here in Gloomsburgh (we only call it that from January through March) we’ve actually had a few nice days, meaning its been in the 40’s and 50’s (or 4 to 10 if you are from metric-landia) and most of the snow is gone. This naturally turns a young mans thoughts to love. I, however, am an old man. So my thoughts turn to. . . Bikes!
I now live about 3/4 of a mile from work (or 1.207 k if you are from South Metric-landia) So walking is not a problem, but I like to run around and get things done in the morning and I feel like a bicycle will allow me to do that without having to buy a car and kill the world with evilness. Plus, I’m a cheapskate.
Anyhow I have pretty much settled on one of these bad boys, KHS Urban X , It seems like a nice blend between a burly mountain bike (I’m kind of an oaf and break stuff easily) and a zippy road bike. Cara is still deciding on her make and model, she wants a pretty and functional bike (actually I do to, but ‘guy pretty’ is different than ‘girl pretty’ in these sorts of things. Guys like their equipment to look tough and utilitarian. . . so that we can therefore look tough and utilitarian. . . . even if we really aren’t. . . ) Either way, I have wonderful fantasies of us riding our bikes around the parks and trails exchanging loving glances as bluebirds drop flower petals on us through the dappled sunlight. . . ahhhhhhhhhh.
huh!? Oh, sorry.
Anyway, this whole buying experience has brought a strange sort of localism out in me. I usually do cheer for the home team and try to keep my money in the local businesses (which leads to some wierd mental questions. . .such as: Cara works at Starbucks part time, thus she is the home team, but working at the away teams store. . . however since I get free coffee there I guess im both supporting the home team (yay us!) AND sticking it to the MAN (boo them!)
Yea, so, as I was shopping for bikes I went to the locals in the form of Iron city Bikes and the away team of Trek bikes. Now here is where localism gets complicated, because the Trek store is obviously employing local riders and mechanics, and a bike store isn’t like walmart. I mean Trek didn’t move into town and put all the other bike shops out of business and they are helping folks to ride bikes instead of driving everywhere so they really aren’t the MAN (maybe they are just the ‘man’ with a little ‘m’).
Anyhow, I like the KHS bike that Iron City was selling better than the Gary Fisher bike that Trek was selling so its a moot point. I suppose it comes down to the fact that I like handing my money over to guys with tattoos and little dirt under their nails rather than the pretty-boys. The guys at Iron City were super helpful and Ive tattooed a bunch of their friends, they give me money so I don’t mind giving it right back to them.
Ok , with that settled I began thinking about the fact that I haven’t ridden a bike in years. I’m not worried about being able to ride a bike, I mean its just like . . .er. . .riding a bike, but I’m out of practice so I will be sticking to the back roads til I get my two wheel mojo working again. City riding can be scary and this map didn’t help either! I mean, click on the “Reported Accidents” tag on the left side of the map. YEEP! People are getting blasted all over the place!! Still, I noticed that the vast majority of accidents occurred on very busy, main artery roads that I will be studiously avoiding, at least at first.
Now comes the tricky part, because once I order the bike there is a 50/50 chance that a giant snowstorm will blow in and blanket the area until April 97th. Thus stranding me with a shiny new toy that I get to look at and not use for 3 more months. Luckily, Pittsburgh has pretty mild winter weather in general so, hopefully, Ill get to be that fat guy on a bike you laugh at sooner than later!