Monday, September 28, 2009

The Beater rolls again!

Way back in the 80s, when I decided to commit to bikes-as-transportation, I went into the bike store expecting to buy a road bike. I was intrigued by the notion of "mountain bikes," but they were still a relatively new thing, and nobody knew if they would catch on.

They didn't have the (road) bike I wanted in the size I wanted, and my eyes fell on a Peugeot Canyon Express. The top-of-the-line Peugeot mountain bike. I took the plunge.

I can still remember taking 5-mile rides on it, around the neighborhood. Then getting ambitious and going 10, then 15. (Of course, I was riding to and from the office, but that was only 2.5 miles or so.) I can remember my first 25-mile ride, on a Saturday morning. Coming in on Hill Road I passed a couple guys on road bikes. They mocked me... but then disappeared in my rearview. (I don't want to suggest they were making an effort to catch up.) It was my primary transportation for a couple years, until I saw a shiny red Bridgestone road bike hanging in the bike store, in just my size... and at end-of-season sale price. (Of course, by then, mountain bikes were jammed into the bike shops, and road bikes were something of a rarity.)

That's all ancient history.

The "Canyon Express" has been collecting dust in a lean-to shed for 18 months or so. This morning it saw the light of day. I dusted off the thickest layer of grime and cobwebs. I squirted air into the tires and put WD-40 on the rusty chain. Just enough to get 'er rolling. Brakes? Check. Let's roll.

Amazingly, the old Vetta bike computer came to life and is keeping track of my miles.


Clancy said...

Glad you are not detoured. That is why everyone needs N+1 bikes. N= the number of bikes currently in your garage.

It might be fun shopping for a new bike. Touring style or race/roadbike style?

Bikeboy said...

Clancy, the Cannondale touring bike would have to be my all-time favorite, for overall practicality. If I end up replacing it, I'll probably get something similar... not real skinny tires, but not fat tires. Enough clearance that I can hang some full-coverage fenders on it.

The current "equivalent" Cannondale touring bike is over $2K - ouch! I've looked - casually - at some "cyclocross" type bikes over the years. If I found one that I really liked, that has bosses for fenders, etc., I might consider going in that direction. (If all my roads were glass-smooth asphalt, I'd LOVE a road bike. But unfortunately, my riding is in the real world, and I'm big and heavy for 23-25 size tires and 28 radial spokes!)

Clancy said...

Surly LHT(Long Haul Trucker) might be a good option.

Bikeboy said...

A guy at my office has a SWEEET Long-Haul Trucker, very nicely accessorized! I've looked it over very closely, and it would be very suitable, all right.

The insurance adjuster just called; sounds like I have two options, either purchase the bike myself for reimbursement (minus deductible) or they'll take $500 and send me a replacement bike.

Apertome said...

I have a Long Haul Trucker and absolutely love it. The "Complete" build runs about $1000. Probably the parts aren't as nice as on the Cannondale, but they are plenty good.

Lots of people love the Surly Cross Check as well.

Bikeboy said...

I went to the Boise Surly dealer today, and looked over the LHT. (An "attention to detail" I hadn't noticed before... on one of the chainstays, it has some braze-on spare spoke holders! Now, THAT is truly a long-haul bit of coolness!)

I'm not sure what the insurance company will offer... if it's going to cost me exactly $500 regardless of whether I get an "exact replacement" for my sweet Cannondale or a much less expensive bike... might as well go for the gold, huh?

(I'm still entertaining the notion that my bike might end up being "too hot to handle" for the thief... and he might abandon it, resulting in its being returned to me. Hey - it's a long shot, but a guy can dream.)