On May 27th, I broke down and finally brought home a new addition to the family. A new bike!
After a lot of research and comparison shopping, I finally settled on a 2012 Giant Escape 2 from Valley Bike & Ski in Apple Valley, MN. Their prices were better than their competitor’s on comparable bikes. Although it pained me to part with the cash, I’m very happy with my purchase.
A few years ago, Nate and I rode the Mackinac Bridge bike tour and as a result, I hated bicycling. My previous ride was a Vertical mountain bike from Fleet Farm that caused my right hand to go numb after even the shortest of rides. Now think about doing that for 25 miles, then another couple of miles for the bridge ride the following day; all with hand and arm numbness. Not fun. It took several chiropractic appointments to fix the problem and I avoided biking for a few years.
In speaking with friends who are avid cyclists, I was told over and over that having a better quality bike that fits my body would cure much of the problem. In March, I started searching for a bike, with thoughts of a future duathlon in my head. But, I didn’t want to spend a fortune before knowing how much a new bike would truly help the numbness issue.
While conducting my search (20 bike shop visits and several Craigslist searches), I took the Vertical out a few times for a total of about 12 miles and experienced no numbness. I figured this was a good sign and that a better bike just might fix the problem.
Since bringing the Giant home, I’ve ridden 20 miles with no problem. Granted, 20 miles isn’t a lot, but it’s 20 more miles than I could previously ride without discomfort. I also love the fact that she coasts and I don’t have to work nearly as hard. The mountain bike required pedaling even on flat or downhill courses and that definitely is not the case with the Giant!
Last Saturday, we put on 14 of those 20 miles on in the rain on the Douglas State Trail near Pine Island, MN. Riding through the puddles and creating the muddy streak up my back made me feel like a kid again; it was freeing and FUN! Now I remember why I loved riding bike so much as a kid! I have high hopes for this being an enjoyable hobby to add to the repertoire.
Whether I actually get around to doing a duathlon this year or not will depend on how my body feels as I continue my marathon training, but if not this year, it will definitely be on next year’s agenda.
As I’m typing, I think the bike needs a name. Black Beauty, perhaps, or is that too cliché?