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Old 05-09-09, 03:59 PM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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Goldberry gets a bike

I've been trying to persuade me' Goldberry (Tolkien fans will know what I'm talking about) to get a bike for a couple of years now. But she hasn't been very interested. But about 4-5 weeks ago, she let me know that she would like to begin riding again.

Knowing that she would only be interested in very casual, 3 to 10 mile rides, and only if she was extremely comfortable (she doesn't even like to walk uphill and I haven't seen her run in 20 years) on the bike, I put together a list of comfort bikes. I figured she would probably like a pedal-forward bike best, as that would put her closer to the ground and they are very stable. I also figured she would like internal hub gearing as she hates mechanical complexity in all things.

But to be sure I set up some variation in the demo rides. I called around and found who had what in stock. So we went out this morning to try out the following: Trek Pure, Trek Navigator, Giant Cypress, Giant Suede, Specialized Carmel 26, Electra Townie. My bets were on the 3 speed Townie and Pure.

It was first to the Trek shop. She loved the 3-speed Pure DLX. Comfy seat, comfy riding position, easy to shift, front hand brake and coaster brake. Didn't like the Navigator much, hating the 21-speed shifting and lack of coaster brake.

Then to Giant & Specialized store. Didn't like the Cypress for the same reasons as the Navigator. Liked the Carmel 26 2 w/3pd much better but not as much as the Pure. Liked how the Suede felt and rode, but it had 7-spd derailleur gearing that she didn't like.

Last up was REI and the Electra Townie. They rolled out a pink Townie 3i and it was love at first sight. Adjusted to fit her and off she went on a test ride. She rode and rode, even up a few minor slopes, and loved every minute of it. Said it was very comfortable and felt so natural to just jump on and ride. Another 50+ woman was there at the same time, test riding a Townie 21D and saying the same things. They rode together for a few minutes, complimenting each other's bike. The other woman bought hers too.

Best yet, REI had their 15% discount bike sale on, so the Townie 3i was the least expensive bike she tried.

I was a little wary about getting just a 3-speed. I kind of hoped that she would like the Carmel 2 or Navigator riding position, so then I could order a Raleigh Circa 2 w/8-speed hub from REI. I was concerned that she would find 2nd gear to be a bit taxing, but that wasn't the case at all. She was riding up slight inclines in 2nd gear with no problems. But as she liked the true pedal/crank-forward design better than all three of the comfort bike relaxed seat positon of the Carmel/Navigator/Cypresss, that ruled out the Circa.

So while I take months to slowly sort through my options, she was down in a little over 2 hours (in part due to my considerably narrowing it down based on what I thought she would like).

No pics as yet, but I've attached a stock image of the bike. She loved the Pink Pearl color, which is an exact match to her pink pearl toe nail polish.
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File Type: jpg townie3i2 [].jpg (91.3 KB, 42 views)

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Old 05-09-09, 04:09 PM   #2
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Good for your Goldberry - and I haven't read Tolkien - but I think I figured it out.

Clipless yet?

Wife and I went on a short ride today - she still loves her Trek hybrid with the 21 speed shifting. Tell your Goldberry that a 72 year-old (well almost) lady rides up and down the hills on her Trek and loves it, shifting like crazy (well, it drives me crazy, at least).

Don't show your wife jppe's Pinarello unless your bank account is full.

Good stuff. More s/o's ought to ride.
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Old 05-09-09, 04:12 PM   #3
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She loved the Pink Pearl color, which is an exact match to her pink pearl toe nail polish.
Great story and ending. Some us pick out bikes because of their color!! Tell her she is not alone!
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Old 05-09-09, 04:15 PM   #4
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Great story and ending. Some us pick out bikes because of their color!! Tell her she is not alone!
+1 on all counts.
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Old 05-09-09, 04:30 PM   #5
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Wife and I went on a short ride today - she still loves her Trek hybrid with the 21 speed shifting. Tell your Goldberry that a 72 year-old (well almost) lady rides up and down the hills on her Trek and loves it, shifting like crazy (well, it drives me crazy, at least).
I did tell her stuff like that. That I see lots of 50+ and 60+ women riding 21-speed Navigators on the rail trails and know of women who ride them on roads and hills. I was trying to influence her to like the relaxed comfort bike riding position, so I could angle for that Raleigh Circa 2, which I felt was an excellent buy at $466 for an 8-speed internal hub bike.

But she didn't like the standard comfort bikes as well as the pedal-forwards.

There was no love whatsover for the derailleur shifting. Not after she tried out a 3-speed anyway. She looked down and saw those three front rings and 7 in the rear, shifted by thumbshifters, each with two levers, on both grips, and with no coaster brake, then looked at me and said, "I don't want any part of this." She did try a couple out, and where the smiles had been on the 3-spd rides, they were replaced by grimaces.
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Old 05-09-09, 04:30 PM   #6
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+1!
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Old 05-09-09, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
I did tell her stuff like that. That I see lots of 50+ and 60+ women riding 21-speed Navigators on the rail trails and know of women who ride them on roads and hills. I was trying to influence her to like the relaxed comfort bike riding position, so I could angle for that Raleigh Circa 2, which I felt was an excellent buy at $466 for an 8-speed internal hub bike.

But she didn't like the standard comfort bikes as well as the pedal-forwards.

There was no love whatsover for the derailleur shifting. Not after she tried out a 3-speed anyway. She looked down and saw those three front rings and 7 in the rear, shifted by thumbshifters, each with two levers, on both grips, and with no coaster brake, then looked at me and said, "I don't want any part of this." She did try a couple out, and where the smiles had been on the 3-spd rides, they were replaced by grimaces.
Well, the important thing is that she is riding. That is really great. My (our) best to her.
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Old 05-09-09, 05:14 PM   #8
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Great story and a good lesson on how to get someone else a bicycle. Do the ground work but let them make the decision.

If 3 speeds proves insufficient, I bet an upgrade to a 7 or 8 speed internal hub won't be too difficult.

Well done. Have fun.
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Old 05-09-09, 05:15 PM   #9
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You've made progress over me. My wife will not even accept the concept of a 3 speed hub or handbrake lever. She is perfectly happy with her single speed cruiser and that's that.

Nice color choice.
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Old 05-09-09, 05:57 PM   #10
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WOW that was fast Tom. I think your lucky, as most of us take months to make our minds up. You know you can't be to careful. Anyway nice bike
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Old 05-09-09, 06:21 PM   #11
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It's adorable...
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Old 05-09-09, 06:24 PM   #12
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I just showed your wife's bike to my wife and she definitely approves!!
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Old 05-09-09, 06:31 PM   #13
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When I was a kid my mom rode a 3 spd english racer
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Old 05-09-09, 07:17 PM   #14
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There's not much better in life....
than a ride with the wife.

Congrats to Goldberry on the hot new ride,
and to you on having the ability now to share those special times out on the trails with your new riding partner.
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Old 05-09-09, 08:08 PM   #15
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Thanks for all of the positive messages.

Quote:
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If 3 speeds proves insufficient, I bet an upgrade to a 7 or 8 speed internal hub won't be too difficult.
.
If the 3 speeds she has aren't optimal - let's say the 3rd is so tall that she almost never uses it. I can change the gearing by swapping out the rear cog. This Townie has a 44t front crank and 20t rear, with 26" 2.0" tires. So the gear inches are around 41 - 56 - 77. I think that may be a bit tall for her, but will wait and see how it works out.

If too tall, I could replace the 20t with a 22t. That would make it 37 - 51 - 70. It's like shifting all 3 down a gear.
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Old 05-09-09, 09:35 PM   #16
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Yay for Goldberry!!!
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Old 05-09-09, 09:42 PM   #17
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There's not much better in life....
than a ride with the wife.
I quoted that line to my non-cycling wife and she told me to fuggetaboutit and wash the dishes.
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Old 05-09-09, 11:13 PM   #18
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Way to go, girl! Yay Goldberry!
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Old 05-10-09, 06:35 AM   #19
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As long as she likes it and feels comfortable, that is all that matters and whe will be more likely to ride more.
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Old 05-11-09, 08:31 AM   #20
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My first bike was a 3-speed (Raleigh "English Racer" with Sturmey-Archer rear hub) in 1962. Those 3 gears seemed magnificent next to my friends' one-speed clunkers. I had never seen a 10-speed at that point (though when my dad bought one - another Raleigh - I was instantly in love and burned for one. I finally got one - a Raleigh Gran Prix - in 1973.)

I long ago gave up on trying to convince family members to ride bikes similar to mine, (selected based on my vast experience and knowledge and research in selecting bikes, ha-ha.) I let them get bikes that appeal to them so they'll ride. If they get beyond the casual rider stage and are interested in my opinions on a more "serious" bike, I'm happy to share, but only then.
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Old 05-11-09, 09:52 AM   #21
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It's great to hear that she found a bike that's fun for her. Started me to thinking how my concept of fun on a bike has changed over the years. Maybe that a topic for a new thread though.
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Old 05-11-09, 04:33 PM   #22
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Tom, It's a real thrill, isn't it?

My wife (Mrs Smokester) expressed a desire to ride the Cinderella Classic again this year. This is a ladies-only metric century (+optional challenge) that is held locally every year by our club. She started dilliegently training on her old 30 year old mixte. I tried to fix it up but in the end rationalized that the brakes were too weak, the gearing all wrong and the bike too heavy. So, I took a chance and built up a Salsa Casseroll with brifters and a Brooks B17 saddle (women's version). She loved it. A lot of our family volunteered for support on ride day and she finished the metric century in good style and very pleased with herself.

Recently, I told her that this summer I was going to take the train to Seattle and ride the northern part of the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) that I haven't done. To my surprise, she said she wanted to go, too...Not all the way back to near San Francisco, but for a couple of weeks. I know these two weeks will be much different than what would be if I were on my own, but in a good way.

Anyway, who knows where this will all end?

Unlike in our younger days, I now almost always ride behind or beside her unless I dash up a hill to take her picture or get water and chocolate ready. And, I try to set her up with friends who like to talk and look more than get sweaty and ride fast. I only compared my average speed to hers once...ONCE.

I wish you the best with Goldberry.
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Old 05-11-09, 08:17 PM   #23
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Yes, who knows how it will end. My guess is that it will be either, A) she has some kind of health issue where she can't ride it, or B) She will like to take rides of 3 to 8 miles on occasion. I think there is some chance of her riding 9 to 15 miles. I will be shocked, shocked I say, if she ever rides 20 miles.

Of course, I expected my own longest ride to be 25 miles, and I've been over 40 on 6 occasions.

I would be quite satisfied to go on 30 to 60 minute rides with her. I think that would be fun. Or a ride of 6 to 8 miles to go to lunch, then ride back.
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Old 05-11-09, 09:38 PM   #24
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I love the color
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Old 05-12-09, 01:54 AM   #25
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That is great that she has chosen to ride with you. Only good things will come of this.
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