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My Two Free Bikes

Old 07-28-12, 11:05 PM
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My Two Free Bikes

I gave a friend some old computers, and in return he gave me a couple of old bikes. I'm glad he did, because this has brought me back after a looong break from cycling. My last bike was a Motobecane that I sold in 1973.

The cycling world seems a lot more complicated than it used to be. There are so many bikes designed for specific uses, and it's a lot to wrap my head around. One of the bikes my friend gave me is, he says, a beach cruiser. It's a Super Cycle 7-speed that's as straightforward as the 10-speeds of yore. It's ugly and cheesy, which come to think of it makes it ideal as a utility bike—who the heck would want to steal it when it's parked outside the store?

He also gave me a Mongoose Hill Topper. I think that this is not a bad bike—he got it for $10 at a church sale, but the frame was too big for him. It didn't fit me so well, either, but I swapped out the handlebars twice (the originals pulled me too low, then the next ones I tried sat me back too much), and I finally got a good fit with a riser bar that swept back just slightly. It's funny how that works—your neck hurts, your butt hurts, the bike seems awful, then you make just the right tweak and all of a sudden it feels great. It couldn't have been more than three inches or so of difference, but now I can't keep off the thing.

I think I finally figured out the gears as well. I was confused at first, but I got a stand to lift the rear wheel, and I played with the shifters until they began to make more sense to me. Now I can make it go fast. Prior to this, I pedaled like mad and almost fell over sideways from lack of forward motion.

It's nice to have a utility bike. I've been car-free for six years, and even though I picked a good neighborhood for walking to work and to stores, a bike will increase my possibilities nicely for shopping and such. And with the Mongoose I also have a fitness/recreation bike that I can try some distance riding on as well. Maybe next year I'll buy something fancier (I like the look of the Trek DS 18.3), but for now I think I'm set.

I've got 75 lbs to burn off, and I'm determined to have fun doing it
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Old 07-29-12, 12:01 AM
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You are off to a good start. I'd ride the wheels off those bikes and then choose a nice bike or two when you know just what you want out them. I also ride a utility bike, and have a fun bike for when I don't haul kids or groceries.
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