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Weather dependant

March 25, 2011
by Erin B

We have had more snow.  Lots of snow and very cold temperatures.  Spring seems so far away when it is -25C outside this morning.

Last week I got a bike ride in.  On the snow.  On my fixed up bike……  The coaster brakes scare the pants off me, especially on ice.  Yes, I started blogging about food, then went off about triathlon, now you have to read bout bikes?  Yup.

So…. I had a bike that I LOVED. SO. MUCH.  My husband bought it for me sort of as a wedding present.   I adored that bike.  I rode it to work everyday.  Then I dislocated my knee cap at work.  I didn’t bike much that summer.  Then I got pregnant and had hip complications.  I didn’t bike much that summer.  Then baby was too little to ride in a bike trailer without getting shaken baby syndrome.  So, I didn’t ride much that summer either.

Last summer, for the first time in three years, I got to ride my bike.  It was uncomfortable right from the start.  I thought I was horribly out of shape and I persisted.  It didn’t get better, it got worse.  By the end of the summer it hurt to even climb onto the saddle.  After doing extensive research, I discovered that this is a problem some people have with that type of frame.  Ironically, the “comfort” bike is the most uncomfortable frame for some people.  What with one thing and another, I had become one of those people.

Some people might not care that their bike had become unridable.  After three years of being benched, you might wonder why I care.  I care because up until that fateful knee injury, I rode my bike all summer.  The car would pretty much sit and collect dust.  I’m not even joking about that part, I would have to dust the dashboard before I could drive it in the winter.

So, last fall I found a couple of really old bike frames in garage sales and what not and bought them for $3 – $5.  Then I spend the winter cleaning and rebuilding them.  The 10 speed…. well, it hasn’t been out yet.  I know it is too icey for those narrow tyres.

The other one is a CCM mixte.  I have…. reservations about that bike.  It was the more expensive one to fix up.  It needed new everything.  $400 of new everything.  In the end I have a bike that is an absolute joy to ride.  But it only has a rear coaster brake.  To be fair, the one I would buy (if I could afford it) has a rear coaster brake, but it has front brakes too.  That would help the skidding to one side when you try to stop.

That really is the problem.  It is so much fun to ride.  It’s just the stopping that is a problem, and the rust, and the hard time getting parts, and the lack of cargo options on the CCM (I’ve named her Victoria).  She is almost a good bike.  Ok, no, she is a grungy bike that happens to have the right frame geometry to cradle my bones without causing me pain.  After last year, I don’t want to give that up.

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