I confess that, for all intents and purposes, I prefer comfort to speed. While I dream of being a world class cyclist, the realist in me knows that I’m past my prime. I won’t be enjoying the adventure of cyclo-cross with its mud and hills or the exhilarating thrill of the Tour de’ France. (The Tour de’ Across Town can even be a bit much some days!) So when I purchased my bike, I went for convenience – a ride that offered enduring comfort with all the perks necessary to make getting from home to my next meeting a relatively pleasant task.
After trying out several models, I finally settled on a Giant Sedona. White with silver embossing, it came with a broad, cushiony seat complete with that cutout that guarantees bits of your nether regions won’t go numb. The low bar was another perk, ensuring that even when my bad leg goes a bit lame on me, I can still manage to fling it over the bike.
I accessorized the bike with headlights and taillights, a nifty silver bell to alert pedestrians to my presence, a set of chrome pedals (the originals were plastic) with grippy spikes, and a set of straps that perform essentially the same task as clips on the more sophisticated bikes. I tacked on a hand-pump instead of a water bottle, and finished my “custom” machine off with a rack which, to be honest, rarely holds anything.
The result is my ideal ride: fully equipped to handle a leisurely ride in the spring and a ride of necessity when gas prices skyrocket over summer. Like a dream, it’s weathered several thousand miles of use and, much to the surprise of the local bike shop mechanic (who is rather baffled by my unusually shifting technique), has yet to require a replacement chain.
I confess that I don’t spend much time wondering what others think of my beautiful bike. It was selected and outfitted with me and my personal comfort in mind… so the opinions of others don’t really matter. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate them when their offered and I could feel the grin beginning to spread across my face as the secretary admired my freshly washed and waxed frame.
“That’s a really nice ride,” she observed.
Knowing that she spent a lot of her spare time riding, herself (and on significantly more challenging courses than were provided by our local streets), it was quite a compliment.
“Yeah, I really like it,” I modestly replied. Then, at her obvious visual invitation, began to explain what made my unassuming cycle so wonderful in my eyes – features that made designed for comfort rather than speed.
The conversation evolved and, as it neared its end, she complemented my bike again.
The dialogue followed me all the way home. As I freewheeled into the driveway, I repeated her praise one more time. “This is a really nice ride!”