Thursday, July 14, 2016

In Which I Ride the Boyson Trail Thrice … And Another Thing

I didn’t have a lot of time this morning—my daughter was going to fly to Baltimore, and I and my wife were dropping her off at the airport—so my morning bike ride was a simple trail loop on the nearby Boyson Trail.

Which, as fate would have it, I rode three times today. The two later rides were a bit different.

“After we drop (our daughter) off at the airport, why don’t we visit the bike shop?” asked my wife yesterday. Why not indeed?

I’ve been down to one bike in riding condition. The Beast broke a spoke shortly after I had the rear wheel repaired. The Fancy Beast has been lame for months with an untrue back wheel. Francis “went to the farm” in the euphemism of adults talking about where old dogs go.

And I have been lobbying for a second bike. Fortunately, some in my family—I am especially looking at you, Jon, although you’re not alone—supported the cause. My rationale was, basically, my road bike is for fun and RAGBRAI, but not really for commuting. I need a bike to put a back rack and some bags on, a comfortable bike to bolt a toddler seat to, an everyday, pickup truck bike to ride when I don’t want to have the sports car out.

And today was the day. We visited Cranky’s Uptown Bicycle in Marion, and I tested a bike I liked a lot—a blue hybrid with a very light aluminum frame. Then, we went to Northtowne, where I had purchased previous bikes. The Northtowne experience was less than satisfactory. The salesperson I dealt with seemed distracted and disinterested. The bike I test drove was OK, but not as comfortable as the blue hybrid I had ridden at a previous shop.

We, my wife and I, talked it over during lunch, and both concluded that we liked the Cranky Uptown bicycle better. That shop had agreed to put on a kickstand for free if I purchased the hybrid, so I called at the end of lunch to ask if they would install it so I could pick up the bike later that afternoon.

“It’s already installed,” the man at the shop said.

And so, about 2:30, my wife flashed a card and a new blue bike was added to the family. I had my helmet with me, and rode the new bicycle home from downtown Marion, which involved going over to Seventh Avenue and heading west to the Boyson Trail. As a test, I also rode it over the Brentwood Drive Hill.

The new bicycle, light aluminum frame, medium width hybrid tires, fun to ride.

The new bike is not quite as light or fast as Argent, but is significantly lighter than Francis was. It has wider hybrid tyres, and straight handlebars, rather than the drop handlebars of a road bike.

Selfie with bike after I rode it home. Wearing MMU Bike Club shirt, which matches bike pretty well.

The first ride went well, and after a swimming outing with some grandkids, my wife and I went on an early evening ride together—on the Boyson Trail.

So I rode it thrice today, twice on a new blue bike that I like very much.

My shadow at Hanna Park during evening ride on Boyson Trail.

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