I finally did it. After two years of discussing the possibility of purchasing a nicer bicycle, I finally caved in and did it.
I was first reintroduced to the idea of riding a bicycle in February 2012 after running the Disney World Half Marathon. It was my second half marathon and I ended up injuring my knee and was in a lot of pain during runs. Instead of listening to the Orthopedic doctor who suggested backing off on the running I turned to cross training, specifically cycling, as a means to recovery. At this point in my life I hadn't ridden a bicycle since probably 5th grade. I didn't even know if I was capable of riding one again, or if I would even enjoy it. Instead of spending tons of money on a fancy bicycle I went to the local Walmart and purchased a Schwinn hybrid bike for about $145. I wrote a review of my Schwinn bicycle that can be found here.
Surprisingly, I loved that bicycle-- which is one of the reasons I put off purchasing a new one for so long. Everything on it held up really well. I talked about purchasing a road bike so I could be faster, and so the Southern Maryland rolling hills wouldn't be so challenging. Unfortunately, I get sort of freaked out if I feel like I'm not in control, so the thought of clipped in shoes kept making me delay the purchase (even though I knew they would make me much faster). Eventually I decided that a road bike wasn't for me.
What I needed was something lighter, with skinnier tires than the Schwinn. I looked at various places. I checked out Patuxent Adventure on Solomon's Island and Mike's Bikes in Lexington Park. I found bikes that I liked, but kept telling myself there was nothing wrong with the bike I had and it wasn't worth dropping a few hundred dollars on at the time.
A few weekends ago, Nick and I were riding our bicycles around D.C. when it started to rain. We were already wet so we continued with our plans for the day. A week later I went to ride my bike, and my brakes barely worked. We stopped at Mike's Bikes and asked him to check it out. His diagnosis was that there was corrosion in the brake lines and it was an easy fix.
Well, instead of fixing my brakes, I walked out of there with a brand new Fuji Sunfire 3.0 hybrid crosstown bicycle!
Fuji Sunfire 3.0
Since getting my Fuji Sunfire last Saturday, I've already put just over 70 miles on my bicycle. This bike is awesome :) My average speed on the flats/semi-flats has increased by approximately 4-5 mph. Going down hill I feel like I'm flying. And even on the uphills, I'm keeping my speed up in a normal range. Nick calls me a speed demon now!
Time to test her out!
Riding circles in the driveway.
Feeling like a little kid!
The trusty Schwinn was good to me, and I'm grateful for all the miles of injury prevention it provided. But I'm also pretty darn excited to have a new toy!
The Schwinn saw 1534.5 miles.
One of the best things about my new Fuji bicycle is that my brakes really work. I was always nervous riding my Schwinn fast going down hill because my brakes didn't stop me as quickly as I would have liked, and I'm always afraid that a car will pull out in front of me and I'll need to make a quick stop. Since getting the Fuji I haven't been as scared. I'm riding downhill at speeds approaching 20 mph (really fast for me)!
So far my seat has been pretty comfortable too. And the baby blue and black color scheme make for a beautiful bicycle without being too girly.
I've done one grocery trip on my bike, and have biked to work twice now. I am loving the Fuji bike so far. Today on our ride home from work I told Nick that I'd like to commit to having two days per week that we travel to/from work by either bicycle or running.
Do you ever use cycling as a mode of transportation? Whether that be to work, to run errands, travel to events or locations. I'd love to hear about the ways you stay safe and how you carry your belonging! Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below :)