April 19th, 2008 by Potato

It’s been a while since I was an active cyclist. In high school I used to bike all over the place, even with snow on the ground, although even then I wasn’t much of one for running off road through the mud. In university, I really gave up on biking and became a car/subway/walking kind of guy. In London, that went double, despite all the attractive bike paths this city has to offer.

A few years ago, I tried to get back into it and bought the cheapest bike I could (a blue supercycle from Canadian Tire), but that bike was heavy, and didn’t shift smoothly, and it was a pain to take down the elevator in the apartment, and, and, and… so I very quickly stopped riding everywhere. When winter came, the only place to keep my bike at the apartment was out on the balcony, where it of course rusted up and I haven’t biked since.

Now, I think I’m going to give it another go. I’ve got a decent “tax return” (actually, I saved up anticipating that I would have to pay since I didn’t have any withholding this year, but I saved more than I owe) so I can use that money to buy a bike! I’m not going to try to get the minimum cheap bike like last time: I’m willing to spend a bit of money to make sure I get something decent (I’d like to stay in the $400 region, but can spend up to $600) because, if I do this right, I shouldn’t need to buy another bike for decades.

I’ve got three things working in my favour to keep up biking this time around: my friends (both in Toronto and in London) are all getting focused on staying in shape, and many of them bike. I live in a very bikeable area with paths and reasonably wide sidestreets (or, reasonably empty sidewalks and cops who never stop cyclists on the sidewalks). And finally, gas is getting really expensive and I’m trying to save wear and tear on my car if I can. Working against that though is the fact that I live a 10 minute walk from work at the bottom of a very large hill. Most likely, I will continue to walk to work rather than bike, and if I’m not biking every day I might not stick to it as much (as a kid, a big help was that I biked to school on a fairly flat route every day, and my friends’ houses were also a reasonable bike ride away). And, as I mentioned, I live at the bottom of a very large hill. Half my potential biking destinations involve going (insanely) uphill, which may influence my stay-at-home-itude.

Anyhow, I’m going to go to the Cyclepath in the morning and see what they have, so if anyone has any suggestions about what I should get, I’m all ears! (And if you have a recommendation for a specific shop, I’m also open to that: Cyclepath was mostly chosen because it’s walking distance from here). I don’t really know what I should be looking for. I think I’ll be looking for a “hybrid” bike because I’ve never really been keen on road/racing bikes, but I don’t really plan on doing much off-roading. Since I won’t be straying from the path, I don’t think I need suspension. But, I do want something that will let me climb hills relatively effortlessly, something that is light. I’m not sure what type of seat I want, which may be one of the most important considerations. I have what is medically termed a “large sexy man-booty”, or “fat ass” as the kids would say. But I don’t know if that necessarily means that I want a wide seat. My high school-era bike had a fairly narrow seat and I actually found it fairly comfortable, but I was like 80 lbs lighter in high school. My Canadian Tire bike had a medium width seat, and while it was ok to ride on for about 20 minutes, after that it would give me searing ass pain and I’d have to bike standing up. But that may be due more to cheap build rather than strictly size… I’m hoping that if I choose poorly, it’s something that’s fairly easy to change out later.

So far, I’ve spoken very briefly to Baum, who’s a bit of a bike expert. He recommended I look at a Trek, or a Rocky Mountain brand, but didn’t suggest any particular model. He also recommended SRAM components over Shimano (although Shimano is about the only brand name I recognized there). Any other recommendations are more than welcome (either in comments, or email me — see the image on the right for the address).

One Response to “Bicycle”

  1. Wayfare Says:

    “I’m going to go to the Cyclepath in the morning”

    Bwahahahaha! *Morning*. You crack me up!