Friday, May 14, 2010

New Wheels

So, after we got back from a five-day bicycle trip in Arizona, I promised myself I'd get a new bike to replace or supplement the bottom-of-the-line Trek 820 mountain bike I've been riding since last spring.

The Trek was supposed to be my wife's, one of the premiums she could choose from as a reward for working 10 years for the same company. But, she's already got two bikes--a really nice Jamis road bike she rides 20 or so miles to work, and a folding model she won in a contest--so she let me have the Trek.

I rode it almost every Sunday last summer with my son when we went out on an unpaved trail a few miles from our house. I even put a rack on it and used it to run errands to the grocery store and to get to and from the Metro.

The first quarter-mile or so on the street or paved trail was always torture. The Trek has a steel frame and fat mountain bike tires and it must weigh at least 35 pounds. Until I get going, I feel every pound!

Over the past two weeks, I visited six bike stores and rode different bikes made by Trek, Marin, Jamis, and Cannondale. I liked a Cannondale, though it was the wrong size. The Jamis was the right size, but didn't feel quite right. And while the Trek and Marin were adequate, each was missing something I couldn't quite articulate, though I could feel its absence.

I'd all but decided to go with the Jamis when I found a store that had a Cannondale Quick CX Ultra in the right size.

It was love at first ride.

The folks at the bike shop didn't have one they could sell me off the floor, but they're having one shipped from their other store, and installing a new handlebar stem, new grips, and a trip computer.

I'll take the subway to the bike shop when it's ready on Tuesday, then ride it home through Arlington and on the Custis and W&OD trails.

I can't wait.

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