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Hello old friend

March 14, 2012

I’ve had a bike for as long as I can remember. There’s been a few times when I haven’t owned one, but they’ve been few and far between. Of course, there have been way more times in my later years that I have owned one, but not used it.

In the late ’90s, I had moved to Fort Worth and was working at Fort Worth Cycling and Fitness Center. It was shortly after leaving that awesome job for a full time sound engineer gig that I sold my Trek. (I think it was an 870, but maybe it was a 920. The frame was that mid-90’s burgundy/orange color).

It wasn’t until 2005 that I really got the itch again. I found whatever dual suspension model Schwinn Walmart was selling back then. I’ve always been more partial to rigid frames, but it was marked almost $150 less than it should have been, so … deal taken. After seven years or so of gradually becoming more sedentary, but still eating like I was riding 20 miles a day, riding was not as comfortable or fun as I remembered. I pulled it out a few more times, but ultimately the bike got left in Las Vegas when I was having to make decisions about what would and wouldn’t fit in my U-haul.

A couple of years ago, I had some cash saved up and was feeling the itch again. I was thinking about getting what amounted to a “grown up” BMX bike — 26 inch wheel mountain bike with front shocks and a single gear up front. I didn’t feel like paying the $1200 that bike was marked at, so I ended up getting a Trek Marlin 29er from the Gary Fisher collection. My first few rides were reminiscent of the ones on my Schwinn, and unfortunately, it’s ended up sitting around in the garage more than I would like. This morning though, I opted for a ride rather than squats and ab work.

I feel like all the running I’ve been doing has really gotten me back to a place where riding is comfortable again, but I remember why I never ran back when I was riding a lot. They are two different beasts. I cut the ride shorter that I’d planned and I had to dismount for a couple of hills, but I still managed to get in 3 miles.

The only real bummer was how much the lights I got sucked. I bought a set of Nite Ize Twisted Lights because they attach easily and are a simple design. If you ride in the city and mainly need something to make you more visible to cars, these are great, but they don’t really work as headlights (especially once streetlights aren’t around).

Luckily I’d also picked up a set of Kikkerland lights, but even with those I could only see about six feet in front of me. With my limited vision I couldn’t really go as fast as I would have liked. Another flaw in the design of both lights is that the LED is in your field of vision. Whenever I would cover the top of them with one hand, my vision seemed to improve. Still, an actual headlight is now at the top of my “to be purchased” list (along with a different saddle).

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