After 5+ years of being away from my bike, I have returned to the road of my youth. Here's my story. I was once a rider. Not a great rider by any stretch, but in whatever I do, I do it as frequently and with as much passion as I can. I got into biking many years ago, in the mid-eighties. I upgraded to a Cannondale SR800 (with BioPace chainrings!), helped form a cycling club in my hometown, did several charity rides for the American Lung Association, started commuting, did the Bicycle Ride Acrosss Georgia several times, and even did the Assault on Mt. Mitchell...twice! But each year life got more hectic, I went off to fight a war, and then my favorite riding partner had to audacity to move to Texas, and took with him most of my motivation to ride with him. I hung the Cannondale on the rack in the garage and pretty much forgot about it.
Then a few weeks ago, a friend was asking about bikes, since he and his brothers were doing triathalons together. I told him I had one I'd be willing to part with. I got big blue off the rack and blew the dust off. I knew the front fork had to be replaced after an unfortunate event took place while strapping it down in an airplane. I took her to my local shop and had a chrome steel fork put on. I loaned her out to my friend for 3 weeks. He brought her back, explaining that someone gave them a bike, so he wouldn't have to buy mine. That was a blessing in disguise.
I took Big Blue out and cleaned her up good, incuding getting rid of the mud dauber's nest under the seat. The tires were dry rotted somewhat, so I replaced the tires and tubes. I was still planning on selling her until I decided to take her on the Silver Comet trail for a ride. (the Silver Comet is a converted rails-to-trails line that runs from Atlanta to the Alabama line. 57 miles of NO CARS!)I had been on the trail several times hiking and doing some geocaching, and always thought I should do it on a bike some day. I did 22 miles and had the time of my life! How could I even think of getting rid of Blue? So the next Friday (July 4th) I took her out to the base and got in a 18.5 miler. Now I'm hooked. I went on line and bought some new shorts, since my others were too small and the elastic was shot. I got a new helmet, gloves, and even a handlebar mount for my Garmin emap, so now I've got a bike that's GPS equipped. I had to have surgery this past week, so I got to stay home and watch the OLN coverage of the Tour de France which has even more enforced my need to get back on the road.
Now that I found her again, I'll never leave her anymore!