I am a very fortunate cyclist. In the three years I’ve been cycling I’ve managed to amass quite a stable, three older steeds and a new one so awesome, the term “bike porn” doesn’t do photos of it justice. This is the one bike I’d want in heaven.
I’ve spent a veritable butt-load of money on bikes and I’m here to tell you, now that I’ve got my Venge, there’s a difference between loving to ride bikes and riding a bike that I love.
And I do love to ride bikes – my mountain bike is a blast from time to time and I love the Cannondale because it’s old-school and kinda cool. My 5200 is something of a limo of bikes, long, stretched out and smooth but it turns like the Titanic. These were the bikes that got me to love the sport. My Venge, on the other hand, is the bike that I love to ride. It’s light and fast, nimble and stiff, yet smooth.
Old men and young women swoon at the sight of her. Kids stop dead in their tracks and point, mouths agape, at it to show their parents. Just yesterday, my wife and I stopped at Wendy’s during our Friday 20 miler for lunch and an old fella, had to be in his early 80’s walked up and stopped in front of it… His jaw dropped and he turned to me and complimented me on how beautiful it was, then asked if it was “one of those carbon fiber bikes”. I clicked my fingernail on the top tube so he could here the plastic “tink” while answering in the affirmative. Earlier, because my spicy chicken sandwich had to finish cooking, the counter hostess offered to bring it out… She actually made a detour to walk by my bike and said, “man, they’re beautiful” (my steed is so awesome, some of it brushes off on other bikes in its presence, immediately raising the other bike’s status by two or three notches). This is a common occurrence, every time I stop people compliment me on my bike… The funny thing is, I still feel that way about my bike too – every once in a while when I walk by it sitting in its spot in the living room, I stop to gaze at her awesomeness for just a minute.
Everyone should be so lucky to enjoy their favorite bike the way I do mine. Alas, most people will go through life thinking “a bike is just a bike”. While there is some truth to that, it is from the saddle that I stay healthy, see the world, share spectacular rides with my wife and learn to dig deeper than I thought I could. It’s atop that bike that I’ll climb mountains, on purpose, and like it. I’ve spent more than 550 hours in the last couple of years on the saddle of a bicycle (662 since June 2011) and I’ve finally, three bikes later, picked a bike that I love to ride.
Now, if I had to do this all over again, I doubt I’d change anything. Far better to spend $400 on a bike to discover that I love cycling than spend several thousand to find I don’t. Now that I know this is how I want to stay fit though, I can affirm: Far better to ride a bike that I love than to only love to ride bikes. If you’re a new cyclist, love the sport, and are in the market for a bike, don’t settle for anything less than the very best that you can afford – and make sure you like the looks of it (if you’re so inclined). I swung for the fences and can say with confidence, having a great bike has made the sport all the more enjoyable.
A bike is not ‘just a bike’. I’ve only got my trusty mountain bike, Bikey, (yes he has a name) and he doesn’t draw many admiring glances these days but we’ve shared many adventures…and more boring trips to and from work but its still a better commute than going by car 🙂
Well said, very true.
Between you and me – Tell me you shared some chili and a frosty with the ole’ ride!?!
You know it brother – but don’t tell anybody.
Deal! Have a great weekend once again.
I’m pretty sure Mojo will be the gal I’m riding in Heaven!! It is awesome to find a bike that you LOVE…it makes riding that much more enjoyable!!
Jim, I have nominated Fit Recovery for a blog award. Congrats! http://wp.me/p1jF5Z-V1
I agree…beautiful bike and excellent choice!
I know that feeling. “black betty” gets my heart racing every time. 🙂
Bike Porn LOL!!
So what did the Venge have to eat at Wendy’s?
Oh, nothing too difficult… Cut a little bit of my chicken and burger off, then part of my wife’s frosty when she went to the restroom (had to be careful, didn’t want her to get the wrong impression feeding the bike and all) then a couple of fries dipped in ranch to round off the food. Hydration was a problem though because I was enjoying a nice, cold Coca-Cola… My Venge, because I didn’t want any unnecessary stops, was relegated to water (you should see what caffeine does to her!).
Now, don’t tell anybody! LOL.
[…] The Bike I’ll Be Riding In Heaven […]
I completely agree, nicely put…spoken like a man who truly loves his bike. The last new bike i bought spent the first week of it’s life in the living room propped up against the radiator (not sure how i got away with that). Whilst apparently watching TV with Mrs Ragtimecyclist i always had one eye longingly on my new steed. I appreciate that this may sound a bit sad…but i don’t care (it makes me happy).
The bike has now, of course, been relegated to the shed.
Is Mrs BigDaddyJim jealous at all ?
Oh the jokes I could make with that lead in… No, she isn’t – I wouldn’t give her a reason to be either.
We’ve bought 3 Specialized RockHoppers from Bike Tech. We are thrilled with the bikes. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable.