D and I have both been commuting by bicycle for the past few months – some weeks more regularly than others – and as expected, this has finally resulted in new bikes. I had been kind of passively looking for maybe a month when disaster struck. D came home with a shiny Bianchi touring bike two weekends ago – now my lovable mountain bike and I had no hope of keeping up with him! I test rode the same bike at one point and ack! It’s a great bike, but it’s just not for me. Instead of making me happy, the touring bike just made me anxious.
So after kicking around and pestering lots of bike shop employees at lots of bike shops, on Friday night, I thought I’d found the one. I fell in love. It was a great bike, and on steep discount because it’s last year’s bike. (If you’re interested in a new bike, now seems to be a great time for it.) Fast without feeling squirrely, I barely noticed the hill I took it up. Riding the salsa felt like flying. (Some of the other fast bikes I’ve tried felt more like falling.) But the voices in my head said ‘sleep on it’, so I did. When I went back yesterday afternoon, I realized what a mistake it would have been – a commuter bike I can’t put fenders on? Clearly this bike wasn’t made for me – it deserves a serious racer, someone who won’t care if they hop off with mud all over their face. So instead of hack out ways to fake it, and instead of loading up a beautiful machine with ugly plastic add-ons, I made some sad faces, whined a bit, and went back to the drawing board.
Then the nice man at the bike shop showed me something perfect – a Masi CX cyclocross bike. It’s a bit heavier, but it has great ride quality, all the attachment points I could ever want, and an inconspicuous matte black finish. The voice in the back of my head last time, the one that kept poking me and asking ‘are you sure, are you sure?’ was gone. I pretty much bought it on the spot. I picked it up today when the shop finished adding some extra brake handles, and holy crap, I’m so happy with this bike. After the ride home and around Golden Gate Park today, I’m still not fully used to it, but I’m looking forward to getting there.
To me, this is another sign that we’re settling in here in San Francisco. There’s just one problem now: My apartment has too many bikes! The two that don’t fit on our wall rack are taking up an awful lot of floor…