In The Beginning Part 2

The New Bikes

. . . after two years or so of riding the hybrids, I finally decided I needed a “real bicycle”. The learning curve was a bit better — regarding what to buy — but not yet all that great.

I wound up with a Raleigh 700, at a modest $1,300, from a local bike store . . . fortunately.

Before I bought the bike from the local store, I had gone to the BIG PRO STORE in the area. Unfortunately they have two groups of sales people — those that know what they are doing and those that think they know what they are doing. I got hooked up with one of the latter. Had I bought the bike from them, it would have been too big.

When I went to the local bike store, they asked me if I knew my bike size. I said 52. One of the owners looked at me and said “I don’t think so.” They resized me to 50, which turned out to be the correct move.

Maybe the bike wasn’t the best, but it did work, except . . . Why was I leaning over so much? My back hurt. I raised the handlebars, but for the duration of ownership I could only ride about an hour on the hoods. Then I had to ride the top of the bar. I just worked with it.

Was this fun — sure was. All of a sudden I did not need to ride with the slowest group in club A and I could keep up the the hill climbing crazies in club B. Life was nice.

I rode one day with a bike club and one day with my wife.

THEN — Susan (my wife), decided that she was getting really bored with the limited number of off road bike trails available in the area — and she was going to start riding on the road.

When we got to road riding, however, it became a whole ‘nother event.

At first Susan did not want to give up her hybrid. With the crazy hill climbing club she spent a lot of time walking the longer hills or lagging far far behind. To help her confidence we started to ride more the the crazy avoid the hills riding club. She was thrilled. A group she could keep up with. She was riding with one group, however, and I was riding with a faster group.

I spent along time trying to convince Susan that she should get a road bike. She liked her hybrid. It provided a certain comfort level. Eventually, however, she made the switch. After much investigation, she found a Fuji Team on sale at Colorado Bike.

The first ride convinced her it was the right choice. The only issue was the saddle — but that was solved with some trial and error.

After she started using the new bike, she eventually became too fast for her ride group. She moved up to mine — fought here way from the bottom of the group, where every ride was a struggle — and found a comfort level at the two clubs we ride with.

That’s how it all got started.