Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's NOT a Mountain Bike (So, don't call it that)

I received a nice call from Neighbor Ted today, just checking in before our race this weekend.  He knows that I am not looking forward to it and probably wanted to encourage me. 

He explained that he also is not ready for his 62 mile route of the race on his road bike and that might be similiar to my 35-mile route on my "mountain bike".  I heard his insult, but let it pass.  I am a tolerant person.  He went on to say that " a mountain bike like yours is just heavier and more difficult to ride longer distances".   Gutsy.  He repeated the insult...I had to stop him because this is not new territory between us.

For the record, my new bike (purchased 11/09) is NOT a mountain bike.  As of today, I have reminded Neighbor Ted of this fact on no less than three occasions.  I should know it is not a mountain bike, because I sold my actual mountain bike in order to buy this one.  Why would I sell a mountain bike (with little miles on it) in order to buy a brand new one?

"So, what would you call it?", Neighbor Ted challenged.  He had a good point there, because after my impulse-purchase of it, I talked with the sales guy, the fit guy, studied the Scott Bicycle brochure, websites, etc. and they all had different descriptions of it.  Still, I had to answer Neighbor Ted with something definitive.  "It's a Hybrid, Urban, Commuter, Comfort Bike", throwing together every word that had been used to describe it. 

"Okay, fine", he said, "so it's a HUCC-B...not a mountain bike.  Are you happy now?", he asked.  Not really, but I am trying to be. 

I wanted a bike that would be faster and lighter than my old mountain bike, but would not put me in a more aggressive bent-over riding style (like a road bike).  My belly tends to get in the way of all of that bending forward.  For now, I'd rather sit more upright, like a country gentlemen riding an old-fashioned bike.  Sadly, I also wanted to make sure that I had a bike frame that would be strong enough to handle my Uber-Clydesdale body.

I wanted to love my new bike and get to a point, where we became one:  man and machine, bonding together on this great journey that would be a turning point in my life.  I have read about cyclists that just get so comfortable with their bike that the rider and bike almost know each other, work together.   Cooperation, progress and efficiency are the results of this partnership and the two act as one, enjoying their time together.

I have that relationship with a few things:  my ipod, my dog Mighty, my family (most of the time) and my La-Z-Boy DreamTime Recliner ("built with a luxurious shape and a sophisticated attitude", according to the brochure).

But not my HUCC-BAfter the El Tour race, it pretty much just stayed in its place, leaning against the wall in our garage...mocking me.  It was like one of those tough kids in high school, leaning up against a wall, smoking as they watched you nervously walk by.  Like my bike was saying "you gonna ride me?  No?  Didn't think so!  Yeah, go on inside, Big Clyde, and settle into that lazy-boy chair of yours." 

I will bond with my new bike soon enough, shaming it into submission with every sweaty mile.  If it behaves well and I am feeling kindly, I might even wipe it down after the race is over.  For now, I will appreciate it for all of the HUCC-B adjectives above, understanding that it is not exactly built for great distances or speed.  At this point in my life, neither am I.  Maybe after 12 months and 2,100 miles, that will change.

Keep riding everyone!

Big Clyde
P.S.   Thanks for the call, Ted.  You are forgiven.


RockstarTri said...

Dude, you HAVE to take the reflectors off before you can even have this debate. :)

Good riding!

Big Clyde said...

Got it. NO one tells me these things. Thanks for the tip. They're coming off.

Sean Anderson said...

You my friend have been doing something I've dreamed of doing. I want to ride! I want a bike too! But not a mountain bike, or even a road bike. I just want an old fashioned bicycle. Like you, I want to sit upright like a gentleman and pedal off some pounds while I add fitness to my body. I haven't been on a bike since I was a kid. I could seriously do it now. Although I would be considered a clydesdale at well over 200 pounds. But I would love it!
Congratulations on your success! And I sincerely appreciate your support of me and my efforts.
It's amazing what we can do when we simply decide. You're serious proof of that!

My best always

Andrew is getting fit said...

Heh. I've got a Hucc-B as well. :)

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