This past Thursday I bought my first mountain bike. It’s an entry level bike, but, honestly, I probably won’t be doing any hardcore trail riding, and the bike is probably sufficient enough for the trails here in the DFW area. It’s a 2013 Cannondale Trail Seven. I took it for a quick spin after picking it up from my local bike shop (LBS), and it is a blast to ride! Mind you, I did ride it on paved surface, but only because it had recently rained, and a muddy bike inside an apartment with white carpet is just not a good idea. The tires on this thing look so aggressive. I went with a medium frame, even though the guy at the bike shop said I looked better on a large frame. I’m 5’10” and find that adjusting and raising the bicycle’s seat post makes the medium frame a perfect fit for me.
I have some other bikes in my “collection.” The reason I wanted a Cannondale mountain bike, was because of my 2011 Cannondale CAAD 8 road bike. This bike is awesome! And, even though it’s an entry level road bike, I honestly don’t believe I’ll ever out grow it. The bike is extremely light and fits me really well. The only complaint I have about road bikes are the uncomfortable saddles that come with them. I tried several saddles hoping to find one that would help alleviate the numbness felt after riding for a long period. I bought a gel Sefaras saddle to replace the original saddle, but still felt that there might be a better one out there. I then purchased a Kontact saddle after seeing some videos on YouTube and being sold by the owner’s explanation of why his saddle is better than most that are out on the market. After a few weeks with the Kontact saddle, I found that it was actually a little worse than the Sefaras gel saddle. It just didn’t work for me. So, I then ordered a Brooks B17 Standard saddle after doing some research and reading reviews online.
When my Brooks saddle arrived I couldn’t wait to try it out! Surely this would be the saddle that would end my search! When I took it out of the box I thought, You’ve gotta be kidding me! This thing is hard as a rock! What were those people online talking about? But! As soon as I installed it on my road bike and sat on it to get the saddle position right, I thought, Oh wow! This is actually kind of comfortable. I took it out for a few rides and it is actually pretty comfortable right out of the box. I’m sure that once it is fully broken in, it will definitely be the best bicycle saddle for my road bike and for me.
On my first ride with the new Brooks saddle I happened to spot a red journal in the road in front of my apartment. There was traffic approaching, so I couldn’t pick it up when I first spotted it. I stopped to put my bike up in my apartment, and then noticed that there was no traffic. I went out to the street to see if in fact it was a red journal that I saw. It was. I picked it up and thumbed through it to see if there was any contact information. There was a business card inside, so I contacted the person and told them that I found their journal on the street in front of my apartment. She was thankful and asked if I could leave it in the leasing office. It turns out, when she was getting ready for work, she put the journal on the roof of her car and then drove off for work. Well…that explains it.
Another bike I have in my collection is a vintage 1983 Miyata One Hundred ten speed. I was in search for an 80s ten speed that I could ride to certain places close by and not worry about someone wanting to steal it. I found this bike on Craigslist from a shady “bike dealer.” He had a completely different bike advertised, but told me he had more just like it. So, I took a trip down to the north part of Lake Worth and stepped into a rickety cabin filled with ten speeds, cruiser bikes, and a couple of mountain bikes that were all probably destined for the scrap yard (or purchased from one). The one bike that caught my attention was the bright red Miyata. In a way, I think I might have rescued this bike from rusting away in that cabin, or possibly from becoming scrap metal. I took it to my LBS and had a tune up performed on it. I’ve rode it a couple of times. It’s not what I really expected, but I think that’s because my first road bike experience was on my Cannondale. So, I think I’m unfairly comparing it to my more modern and lighter bike. The Miyata is definitely more than sufficient for making a quick trip to Starbucks and the occasional trip to the grocery store, and for only thirty-five dollars, I think I got a good deal. I’m seriously considering turning it into a single speed, just because I love the cleaner minimalist look of a single speed bike. We shall see.
The last bike that rounds out my collection is a 1973 Chicago built Schwinn Suburban. I found this bike on Craigslist as well, and also got this bike for thirty-five dollars. I am definitely not going to attempt to restore this bike to its original state. I plan on stripping it down, painting it matte black, putting some white wall tires on it, and possibly turning it into a single speed. I really like the fender guards on it and would really like to install a chain guard on it as well. Not sure if that will ever happen. It may just sit by my door in my apartment and serve as a coat hanger.