As I am finally getting my stepfather’s estate in order (it is largely in the hands of the realtor now) I have begun bicycling again. I dusted off my mountain bike, a 2014 vintage Specialized Crave that I enjoy riding, but I find that I don’t do as much offroad riding as I thought I would.
Prolly because my fond memories were from nearly 20 years ago, when I was much more mobile, and in far better shape. Ah, the joys of late middle age.
So, I turn to my road bike. I currently ride a 2002 vintage Lemond Buenos Aires. A solid, well-built steel framed road bike. It has the skinny tires, an aggressive riding position with drop bars, and given its age and the 2012 upgrade where I put vastly improved wheels on it – Fulcrum Racing 4’s – it is still a good bike.
But I cringe to ride it. It is harsh. It is a cut-and-thrust ride, with drop bars, and my aging body doesn’t like being folded up like that for longer rides. 30 miles is excruciating. Not due to the exertion, but the pressure on my hands, and the crouch that the bars enforce. I used to easily do 3 or 4 50 mile rides in a week.
I must face it, I am getting old. Deep sigh. Yep, you just heard that exhale.
So I am in the market for a new bike. I am not ready to go cruiser, I still enjoy putting miles on (and truth be told, I need to get in shape and lose weight – ahem) so I am looking at something commute friendly, “fun” and high quality. There are literally tons of bikes in this new-ish category called “Fitness” bikes. Essentially road bikes with more forgiving geometry, flat bars, and a more relaxed riding position. Sure, it’s not optimal, but neither is my aging body.
But that isn’t what’s sad. Note even close.
As you may have divined, I keep my bikes a long time. A reallllllly loooooooooong time. My current Lemond is 17 years old. My prior mountain bike served me well for 15 years.
As I am shopping, I did the mental math. I am 54 (or will be in less than a month), and if I keep this bike 17 years, it is quite likely to be the last bike I will ever buy.
That is what brings tears to my eyes.
Sigh, nothing like facing your mortality in the morning.
What was that, huh? Speak up Sonny… what am I considering?…
The front runner is a brand new Trek FX Sport 6. Carbon frame, flat bars, Shimano 105, disc brakes, wider rims and tires, and a solid performer all around.Mubariz Mehdizadeh