Back in April of 2008, I bought a bike. This started the crazy/wonderful/bizarre/car-free lifestyle I have now. I put over 3000 miles on that old bike before breaking it. It went through everything. I did off-road riding, commuting, gravel rides, hilly rides, coffee rides, and everything else on that bike. I think this one sums it up the best.
I had named that bike Nermal. Nermal was a cheap ($225) hybrid bike. I bought one for my daughter also. My daughter’s was stolen last year. Although I had upgraded mine quite a bit, it was comfortable and versatile. It was not a lightweight bike though. It was comfortable. The handlebars were up high enough. I started riding drop bars with my Surly LHT that has since been sold.
Although my neck flared up for the first time in June last year, and again in December, I think it’s been a long term problem going back eight or so years. I remember periods with a very bad stiff neck long before I rode a bike.
I think I’m done with drop-bar bikes. I’m not happy with the city bars I put on the single-speed, and I don’t know what I’m going to do there. The recumbent will remain my touring and distance bike. The Big Dummy will continue cargo duty. The single speed will probably be my commuter again, once I figure out the bars, and replace the damaged crankset.
How do I do gravel rides? How do I have a bike that’s easy to haul on or in a car?
That was settled today. Rather than spend $1000+ on another bike that may not work, I spent $350 on a (relatively) cheap Giant Cypress ST – the same model as Nermal, the bike that got me started in 2008.
There will be some differences. I’m not going to put a rack and fenders on this bike. It won’t be for riding to work. This will be my gravel bike and my travel bike. I may also use it for around town rides and pub crawl rides. It’s cheap enough that I won’t have a heart attack if it’s stolen.
It’s not a pretty or elegant bike. It’s functional and comfortable. I’m sure I’ll have to make changes to it to ride it regularly. The wheels may not hold up to the abuse that I’m going to dish out. The drivetrain is low-end and will get replaced once worn. I never thought I’d buy a bike like this for myself again. It may be just what I need to get back into the fun rides that I did in 2009 and 2010.
Back to June: I mentioned I wanted 500 miles for June. I managed 504.8, so goal accomplished. I did have a 230-mile tour in June. I also wanted a 500-mile month in July (actually hoped for 700 miles). I’m currently at 326 miles, so 700 is a no-go. 500 is possible, but not probable. I’m hoping having a new bike to ride will help.