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Old 06-10-07, 02:46 AM   #1
ddmann
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The challenge begins

Hello All

My name is Dennis and I live in Spokane, WA. Earlier today my brother called me up and told me to come and get my mountain bike back. I had lent to his oldest son, (who is now in Iraq, second tour) about 15 - 16 years ago and all of his kids had used it growing up. The youngest got her drivers license a few months ago so now the bike needs to go home. When I picked it up I was appalled at its condition but really what could I say! Anyway, after I spent nearly four hours cleaning it up and adjusting brakes, shifters, etc. I went my first ride in probably 16 years.

WOW I had forgotten just how much fun riding a bike can be, and how tiring! (did I mention the middle age part yet). Over the last 16 years I have gained a lot of weight. Riding today made me realize just how big and weak I have become. So the first part of the "challenge" I referred to in my title line is this: Can a middle aged man over 250 pounds lose 25 of them in only three months? By sheer luck, (or is it serendipity?) over the last month I have been gradually changing my eating habits and had started a walking regimen of 2 miles every other morning. In that month I have lost 12 pounds. Not much I agree but it is a start.

But hey let's face it walking is boring, biking on the other hand WOOHOO! I have not formed a complete battle plan yet so I may occasionally ask for training as well as component advice.

The second part of the "challenge" is to transform an ancient mountain bike into a modern day, (since I no longer feel any compunction to ride in the mountains again) commuter. Tomorrow I plan on picking up some new brake pads, chain, a couple of cables, lubricant, cleaning supples, and possibly a new seat, ( now how did they tear it up so bad?). I may even pick up one of those fancy compute gadgets to track my mileage. I already ordered some new slick tires for the old girl.

Oh yeah I also plan to RIDE !!

See ya'll later
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Old 06-10-07, 07:31 AM   #2
East Hill
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Hello Dennis, what do you mean you don't want to ride in the mountains again!? You live in Spokane, right next to some great places to MTB .

But seriously, if you don't want to ride those fire trails again, you're off to a good start converting the bike to a commuter, and getting yourself back into shape. You might want to visit the Clydesdales forum--they are very supportive over there--and the Commuting forum as well. Oh, and visit the Pacific Northwest forum to say hi to us locals (well, if you consider people west of the Cascades to be locals, that is, and there ARE plenty of members from Eastern Washington, too ).

What kind of mountain bike have you got?

Welcome to BF!

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Old 06-10-07, 12:48 PM   #3
Tom Stormcrowe
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Hey Dennis, welcome aboard and let me second the invite to Clyde's! You'll find me there frequently, being one myself!
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Old 06-10-07, 02:38 PM   #4
ddmann
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Thanks for the warm welcomes East Hill and Tom. I will check out the Clyde's ASAP

And yes east hill there are a ton of logging roads I can ride when I feel like it. However, and this is a big however, that would require a trip of 40 miles or better. At $3.50 a gallon I don't drive unless it is necessary. On top of that back in the day when I did ride in the mountains it was always on trails. The group I rode with rarely deigned to set wheel on a road. We rode in a lot races pre-NORBA crashed often and had a screaming good time. Consequently riding logging roads isn’t, in my mind, “mountain biking”, it’s more like “touring in the mountains”. I will however keep my knobbies on hand because I am certain I will be doing some mountain touring later on in the summer after I have built up some endurance. In fact the thought has occurred to me to have a second set of wheels and tires for just this reason. I will have to investigate to see how much moola that would be.

This morning after my 5 mile jaunt, (the sad part is that five miles felt like a triathlon!) the necessary drive was to my LBS, which turned out to be two miles from my apartment, for some replacement parts. I have driven by this store on the way to work for the last two years! Anyway when I walked in the door a young teenaged kid all of sixteen asked me what I was looking for. I told him what parts I was looking for and he led me right to them. I picked up brake pads, new chain, some cleaner, watebottle,a brush for the rear cog, and I talked myself into an electronic odometer. The kid talked out of buying new cables he told me to lubricate these and if after a few weeks they do present a problem then buy some new cables. As I asked questions he answered each one politely, (this was a surprise) without any bias he did not try to upsell me or push me into purchasing anything I did not need. I was quite impressed with the young lad.

Here is a pic of my ancient, but still standing and rolling Mongoose IBOC Comp. Some day I will tell the story of how I ended up with this bike, (long story). Notice the freshly installed computer and shiny new chain!!!




This is heavy and built like a tank. It has survived my four years as a commuter, miles and miles of trails, three teenage boys and one teenage girl. Over the summer I hope to slowly transform both the bike and myself into sleeker and more efficient packages.
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Old 06-10-07, 04:07 PM   #5
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Good point about the driving to the fire roads. I am somewhat fortunate in being right next to a fairly tame, but dirt! doubletrack not more than a couple of miles away, so I just ride over there to get dirty .

It sounds as if the young man in the LBS is off to a good start in pleasing the customer, and I hope that the rest of the employees at the LBS are like him. That Mongoose is obviously sturdily built if it has been through three boys and a girl riding it--it sounds as if a few upgrades would make it into an outstanding machine.

East Hill
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