I'm a recent arrival in the South (South West Eastern North Carolina, to be exact), but have ridden sem-seriously in southeast Michigan for the last six years or so. I got started when I got married and my mother started cleaning all my stuff out of her house. One of the things she gave me was my old Panasonic 10-speed. Quite likely one of the quirkiest bikes ever built, it had the freewheel in the bottom bracket, which meant the chain was in constant motion. Great for teenagers learning how to shift, but the other thing about it was that it was bought when I was still kinda short. It had standard 26 1/2" wheels, but the fram was too small for them, so the top tube bent up right at the front. When I was in high school, it mean everyone teased me for riding a "girls bike," and as an adult, it meant that it was really too small for me. Sorry I sold it, though. I now have a large enough house, it would be cool to just keep it around for historical value. Besides, I did zero maintenance on it as a teen, it sat in a garage for five years while I was in college, and then it arrived at my apartment in Michigan, and worked perfectly. Gotta love that.
Anyway, when I got serious, I needed a new bike. As a new teacher in an expensive part of the country, I really couldn't afford the altest hand-built wonder. Also, I had a one-year old son, and wanted to take him with me. But I had to get a road bike. Got a Bianchi Brava, a steel-frame "light touring" model that has never let me down. It carried my son in his seat, then pulled him in his trailer, and now serves as a make-shift tandem with the trail-a-bike hooked up. And while it's one of the oldest, cheapest, and heaviest bikes in the cycling group (Cross Creek Cycling Club) I just started riding with, it still does the job. One of these days, I'll have two bikes for the two kinds of riding I do(family and road -- although I've always thought cyclocross looked cool . . .), but for now, it's the perfect "do-it-all" compromise.
Last edited by legocoach; 08-08-05 at 08:53 PM.
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