I spent yesterday riding a lot. This, from what you've read here may not sound unusual, but, in this case, it was. I did a short 10 mile ride first thing in the morning, then had breakfast with my family and hung out a bit. Then we went on down to River City Bicycles.
You see, we sold the tandem that Davan and I used to ride together. Now that she rides her own bike, she much prefers it to the tandem and I much prefer to ride my single myself, so that works out. Thus, we sold the Black Bomber. I also sold my old mountain bike. I don't do mountain bike riding, but had been using my mountain bike for my around town/touring bike previous to buying a touring specific bike for our bike trip.
Lately, on family rides, I've noticed a problem. If there are hills, I have to take my touring bike. What with it's more comfort than speed geometry, rack and fenders, it's not a speedy mount in comparison to Anthony and Davan's Giants, which are both road bike specific bikes. Anthony's, of course, being a much better model than Davan's, which is very much appropriate for now. I get left behind on even the slightest of inclines.
If we go on rides where it's relatively flat, I can take my 1992 road bike. For those of you who don't know, if serious, even serious recreational riders, that's an old, old bike. It served me okay in that time, especially after Anthony upgraded my shifters for me from down tube shifters to break lever shifters. However, it's major draw back is that it lacks a granny gear or anything remotely resembling a granny gear in terms of modern bikes.
So, we decided that the money from the tandem and my mountain bike should go toward a new bike for me. I'd wanted find one along the lines of the killer deal (Craig's List, hardly used, way undervalued) we got for Davan at first. Her's is a decent, entry level road bike and serves her well. However...well, I started test riding at River City. I also did test rides at Hike 'n Bike. What I discovered is that I wouldn't be happy with Davan's bike.
The main reason for this is the type of shifters. She has thumb shifters, which means she can't shift from the drops (for those who know what that means). However, the Giants just weren't my favorite ride, even the more expensive ones.
I tried seven different bikes, taking one out three different times and another out twice. Each time I went out, I did about 2 1/2 miles, including a decent climb each time, wanting to really get a feel for each bike. Anthony, who was very patient and supportive and vary laid back about spending so much time standing around bike shops when he wasn't feeling real well, and I spent over six hours looking at and test riding (just me on that one) bikes, with a short break to sit in the van and eat the lunch I'd packed. Davan, luckily, had been invited over to my parent's house for the afternoon and to spend the night, so she didn't have to endure the bike shopping marathon.
Honestly, at the beginning of the day, I wasn't expecting to buy. I figured we'd find what I liked and then wait for a killer deal either because the last of the sizes were being sold out from the previous year or because we'd pick up a gently used one.
However, I fell in love. And it was a killer deal. Sadly, even with it being a killer deal, it was significantly more money than I had to work with, especially once I changed out the saddle because the one it came with was like sitting on a brick to me - by far the worst of the saddles on all the bikes I tried. Anthony and I talked it over and, even though he felt a little bit slighted about it because he's been saving for his new bike, we decided that the difference in price would be my birthday present. My birthday is next month, but who's counting? (Okay, yes, I feel a little bad about how much we spent. Maybe it'll make me feel guilty if I don't go out and ride a whole bunch and maybe that's not such a bad thing.)
I'm really pleased with my bike. It's pretty, responsive, shifts smoothly and accurately and is a smooth ride. I got a Cannondale 6.3.