Monday, February 04, 2008

A new addition to the family

Wow, I'm sure many tens of ones of you are thinking, gee I didn't even know they were expecting. To be honest, it was quite a surprise to us as well. Actually, I think my lovely wife had a bit of a suspicion that something was up, but she stayed tight lipped until I finally asked. Wait, what are we talking about? Oh ya, that's right, I managed to have "the talk" with my wife late Sunday night when we should have been doing much more productive things.... like sleeping.

I know many of you cyclists out there have had the same talk. It starts as a small idea in the back of your head and before you even realize it, it's a full blown desire, need, necessity. I'm speaking of the new bike talk. Oh yes, that talk! The funny thing is, since I'm still what I consider new to the sport, this is my first time having this particular talk. I know it has many other forms based on various hobbies, sports, and passions, but it's still nerve wracking whenever it comes up for the first time in a new activity.

She knew I'd spent some time at a few local shops lately and been casually perusing some mountain bikes. I think she even caught me a time or two reading reviews on (oh the shame I felt). I think it would have been easier to be caught looking at porn. At least I don't have to explain myself on that topic. I guess this was just a different type of porn this time. Bike porn! It all started with the idea that I could use some new tires for my trusty old steed. By trusty old steed, I mean an early 90's vintage rigid frame GT Outpost that I bought at a pawn shop and have never serviced beyond hosing it off and spraying some WD-40 or whatever equivalent I could find handy on the rotating parts if the squeaking became unbearable. Ya, I know, I'm the paragon for bike maintenance...

In any case, I started pondering new tires, which led to evaluating the bike as a whole. Overall, I thought the bike was decent and would still work for the use I was putting it through currently. Definitely not the best weapon of choice, but I could be stuck on a 60 pound Suck-Mart special instead. Sometime I'll have to regale you with the tail of spending a week pedalling a 24" Toys 'R' Us youth mountain bike around the wilds of northern Nevada. Just typing sends a full on shiver through my body. As I spent some time Saturday heating the garage, I thought I'd put my newly found bike mechanic skills to use and check over my mountain bike. The garage was warm, time was on my side, and I thought it would be fun. I knew the bike needed some serious TLC, but after adjusting the front derailleur I checked out the crank. It was at that point I decided it was time to seriously put together the new bike speech. The middle and outer rings on the crank were barely passable with almost half the teeth on each showing extreme wear.

Overall, there wasn't nearly as much begging, pleading, and whining involved as I thought there might be. As I alluded to earlier, my better half had all ready deduced that it would only be a matter of time before I asked about getting a new mountain bike. A nice compromise was struck that I needed to find a good used bike and then I was off to the races. Unbeknownst to her, I had all ready set my sights on what I thought was a pretty sweet deal that was lurking at the warehouse of one of the local shops. It's a 2005 Giant Rainer and had been brought in for a new fork and tires, but the repair bill must have been too high for the owner, as they abandoned the bike and now it was to be mine for a great price. On top of that, I got what I felt was a pretty top dollar trade for my trusty steed.

I had a second or two of remorse selling it off, but that was soon replaced by stroking the seat on my sexy new ride. I have a set of blue smarty pedals from Crank Brothers on order that will hopefully match the bike great. Other than that, my only plans are to ride her, service her, and ride her some more. Wait, am I still talking about a bike???? I can't wait either way.

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