I’ve been bicycling regularly since May 2009. I started with a hand-me-down, PoS, and upgraded to a Specialized Globe – the cheapest good bike money can buy – in January 2010. After logging 28,757 miles, I replaced that bicycle this week. It was a good and trusted friend.
Riding in Arizona
Most of those miles were logged on the sizzling highways and byways of southern Arizona where my personal goal was 4,000 miles every year. Since moving to Wisconsin in the fall of 2016, I try to achieve a minimum 2,000 annual miles. As Ringo Starr would tell you, “You know it don’t come easy.” ‘Ten-degrees and no ice on the road’ is my minimum riding condition when I don full body armor including Air Force issue pilot mukluks.
Many tires and tubes were replaced through those 28,757 miles along with pedals, axles, brakes, chains, gears and other items that eventually wear out. Last weekend, my left shifter broke. I knew it was coming. For several months, I’ve had difficulty changing gears, and first gear was out of the question.
I like to say that before I left Arizona, I had circumvented Earth with my bike!
A New Friend
Fortunately, we have a great bike shop – Crankworx – smack dab in the middle of Main Street under the shadow of River Falls’ American flag. I dropped my bike off for a new shifter. Less than five minutes on my walk home, Mrs. tVM called and said she would prefer if I got a new bike.
I did a ‘180,’ and returned to the shop and Isaac the owner recommended a Trek bike, specifically a Verve 1, a basic 21-speed hybrid. Not only did I like the bike he showed me, but better still, Trek bikes are made right here in Wisconsin. I prefer supporting local industry. On another positive note, Isaac will donate my old bike to a group downriver in Prescott, Wisconsin who will find a new home for it with someone who can use but cannot afford a bike. This is a win/win situation.
I took my first ride this morning, a 14-mile circuit around town. The bike handled perfectly.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: of all the exercise I’ve done through my entire life, I consider bicycling the best, most effective and most enjoyable.
I quoted Sister Joan Chittister in my post two years ago when I completed my ‘Around the World’ quest,
“We miss so much of life because we decline to pursue it.”
I will NEVER fall victim to that temptation.