Category Archives: Bikes

well… bikes :)

Buy a bike, get a free person

Last year changed my life.

I bought my first car when I was 16, and I had  been paying for every part of it since then. Insurance, gas, repairs, you name it, I’ve probably needed it since then.  As an out-of-state college student I brought my car with me to the University for the first two years, yet mid spring semester it went in for its yearly inspection and utterly failed.  It would have cost me about 3+ times what I had paid for the car to repair it. Looking back at that time, I think that changed my life.  I remember seeing an add for a local bike shop with a coupon that said “Bu y a bike, get a free person” and having no idea what in the world it could have been talking about.  Seeing as I was taking classes at a nearby university and a dependable mode of transportation was key, I went to check out the bikes. I spent about 3 days searching through the bike shop and trying out bikes, wandering around, tying to see what would best fit me ; my personality, my daily needs of riding (terrain, weather, blah blah), efficiency, and most important at the time, cost.  I ended up buying a used Diamondback mountain bike and I was pretty impressed.  It had some decent front shocks, and a hard tail, as well as decreased my past biking time (with an old beat up bike) from 50 minutes down to about 40 minutes.  That was pretty amazing for me and I made the 5-6 mile trip several times for 2 weeks before realizing that the bike would not stay on the selected gears and I had almost crashed a few times because of it.

The understanding shop owner tried to adjust the shifters, but I never felt comfortable on it again. So in the end I returned it. Now, without a car or a bike, I needed to figure something out, and fast.  On my way out I saw a road bike in the used bike section.  It was a carbon fiber Trek 2120, with a nice shade of green painting and white wraps.  It was love at first sight.

I took her for a spin, absolutely loving the STI shifters, and the glide like pedaling.  I had to have her. I ended up getting the Trek and I have used it almost every day since.  It got me to work every day in the summer, and it gets me to all of my classes and whatnot during the semester.  Finally I understood the meaning of that coupon; When you buy a bike for the first time (one that you truly put a lot of thought and consideration into), you give yourself a new perspective on life.  Instead of closing yourself off from the world in a car I had opened myself up to the world, I payed more attention to my surroundings and was just happier overall because I was proud of my bike, my efforts and the change in my actions.  It has changed who I am to say the very least and I think that this kind of experience is something everyone should go through, maybe not specifically with bikes, but in one way or another.