I had no idea cycling was such an addictive hobby and I've just begun. I've been trying to lose weight (365lbs this past Christmas). The last time that I lost weight I was doing 30 minutes of cardio on a stationary bike at the gym 3 times a week. Now I work in the office and don't want to be inside to get my cardio so I decided to get into cycling. I rode bicycles like a mad-man when I was in my early teens but quit shortly after getting my first car.
Well I needed a bike and the wife's old Schwinn Collegiate 3 needed new tires. I found tires for my wife's bike and found me a '83 Schwinn World Tourist on Craigslist (Shimano FFS with friction shifters). I was sick of looking for a new bike that I couldn't afford. So I paid too much for the Tourist but I was able to finally start riding a couple of weeks ago. Last Thursday I did five miles with an average speed of 12.7mph and I was excited as all get out. I live in the Pine Mountain foothills in West Central Georgia and I've been surprised by the amount of effort it takes to keep speed going uphill.
As I continued to read about gearing last week, because of these foothills, I decided Saturday to count the teeth on my chainring. When I shined the flashlight on the large chainring my joy turned to gut-churning disgust. I discovered that at least 6 teeth have broken off the large chainring (BTW 53/39 - 28/14). I called the LBS only to find out that they were on Vacation so I was left to stew with making a really stupid Craigslist purchase. I still swear I checked the chainring and didn't see the broke teeth.
Finally on Monday my decision was made. I headed to the bike shop but they were still on vacation and wouldn't open until 2pm. So I headed to secure some financing for a NEW bike, specifically a 2011 Raleigh Sojourn. I procured the financing and called the bike shop only to learn that they couldn't get a 2011 Raleigh Sojourn cause July is the end of the 2011 model year!!! I even called Raleigh in WA state today and they told me there were no 2011 Sojourns!!! Anyway, I'd prefer to support my LBS since they were so good to me when I had to buy the wife a bike cause her old Schwinn needed gratuitous repair other than just tires and tubes.
So, I anxiously await the 2012 Sojourn and pray that the components don't radically change and that the financing doesn't get re-purposed before September. Raleigh would only tell me that the color is going to change on the 2012 but not what components would be included. Oh.... anticipation is Raleigh making me wait
Off to cut the grass rather than ride today but Thursday me and the Schwinn have a date with the road whether or not she has missing teeth.
BTW, after you do 29m.p.h. on a '83 Scwinn, the price for a Raleigh Sojourn doesn't seem to be too much. I want new fresh steel between me and the asphalt.
Happy Trails or Trials whichever may be the case