Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I never thought I would say this….I am a cheater…

About three years ago, I invested in a quality mountain bike. I spent several months researching exactly what I wanted but I finally committed…after courting several different mountain bikes, full suspension, hard tail, and I settled very happily with a Trek 8000 hardtail. I actually purchased the bike in the dead of winter which was a cruel thing to do to myself. It sat there in my bedroom, new and shiny until an unusual warm day in January. The first ride was love at first crank.

That spring and summer, any and every chance I could find, I rode that bike. It was a weird reaction but I was thankful for a long and dusty drought that took over the city. It made the trails accessible virtually anytime of day. We were inseparable that summer. It was our blissful honeymoon phase. It took me a while to tune the bike (named: Willie Nelson) just as I liked but once configured just right, we spent hours riding off into the sunset, sharing scabs, creating stories and falling in love.

But I am sorry to say, that I am a HORRIBLE bike partner. This year….my eyes have wandered…I could not help myself. The shiny new road bike is everything the mountain bike is not. It is sleek, fast, and stiff. I did not think I would be attracted to something like the road bike. Sure….like most cyclists, I considered crossing over here and there…”trying it out” but….a lesson I have learned in cycling is that you are most often defined by ONE or the OTHER….you ride knobby or slick…but NOT both (oh the horror). I have heard some say, it’s like cheating. Roadies do not like trails and trails do not like roadies (as the story has been told to me). But this year, I could not resist…I gave in and this morning on my way out the door and I felt the rear tire on my mountain bike and I would say, it is lucky if it is holding twenty pounds of air. (Sigh). I have cheated on Willie Nelson.

It has to be hard for my poor mountain bike to sit there on its rack while I clean, rub, and scrub the road bike after every long ride. I prance the road bike in front of the Trek as a cherished house guest while its tires go flat and it hangs there lifeless, ignored. I AM A HORRIBLE BIKE OWNER. On the two prong rack, the road bike goes on top…an unintentional sign of its place in my heart right now. They are TWO very different bikes—how could one really compare? The road bike responds with the slightest touch of my fingers and rolls smooth. The other bike requires constant “man handling”, grunting, groaning and rough housing. Is it possible I am in love with both forms? Oh dear goodness…what a pickle. Thankfully cycling polygamy is allowed, which is good because my wandering eye will not quit…I am looking a cross bike…and who knows, I may end up with a tandem.

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