New to the forums although I've been lurking for a while. What a plethora of knowledge we have here. I've been reborn back into bicycling after leaving it behind in my youth when I used to ride my bike every day. I've been running for quite a while and really love that aerobic feeling when I'm pushing ahead and breaking personal records. There's just something primal about getting into that "Runner's High" zone. On some of my in between days I would hop on the 2003 Trek 820 and do a little trail riding, both paved and off. Another summer rolled around and I found myself wanting to hop on the bike to get around town and I started plugging addresses into google maps using the bicycle feature. I knew there was a massive amount of bike trails and lanes around here and google just made the information that much more accessible and fun. It was not long riding the mountain bike through the trail system that I quickly realized I was working way to hard to be going as slow as I was.
I bough some less knobby tires for the mountain bike but was disappointed with the gains. People on road bikes were still flying past me and exerting much less effort. I knew then what I had to do. I started looking on CL and researching road bikes. I decided I wanted a carbon fiber bike but my budget was extremely tight. I learned that many of the bikes on CL were ridiculously priced and started seeing the same background in picture after picture and realized that these weren't just guys wanting to sell their bike for a fair price, but business men flipping bikes for as high a markup as they could get. Unfortunately I live in an area where some of the population (not me) has a stupid amount of money to waste. Microsoft/Amazon/Ebay/Starbucks/etc. I couldn't believe that these bikes were selling for $100-$500 more than bicycleblubook.com. Anyway, enough about economics. I scanned and waited.
I finally happened upon a 1995 Trek 5000 Carbon bike. It's fully functional but could probably use some TLC. Nonetheless it's got me on the road. I flipping love this sport. I get about the same high as running and instead of seeing block by block change, I know see city by city and sometimes county by county change. To boot, if I get too far from home, I don't even care. I grab a bus back.
Tonight, it was 80° outside. My water bottle full, I headed out. I stopped off at Bartell's to get some batteries for my lights. Got the rear light loaded up and powered it on and thought man, this thing is looking dimmer than it used to. It wasn't quite twilight yet so I though that I'd just recheck it after it gets dark. I unlock my bike and as I'm about to saddle up, I smell that smell of burning plastic. I go to grab the light thinking what the hell, and it was hot to the touch. I quickly peeled the casing off and took out my pocket knife and pried the batteries out. Somehow, unbeknownst to me, a rogue drop of sweat landed on the circuit board as I was changing out the battery and it was frying. Perhaps it was the placebo effect but I felt like my hands were doing that acid burn feeling so I ran into Bartell's and bought some baking soda and washed up. Road down the road to Fred Meyer and got a new light. 45 min. behind schedule I was off to ride.
Wrapping it up, it was a great ride tonight. There was a section of the trail I was on that is under a canopy of trees. Twilight was dimming off. There were about 15 bikes around me going either direction. Many of them commuters. All of our lights were on. It was like fireflies dancing around on a hot summer night. I took a swig of my water and let out a zenful sigh. I love riding.