Friends, I have to tell you – this was the BEST birthday present ever! I mean seriously, I feel like I’m 10 years old again. What have I been doing the past 20+ years without a bike?? In my first few weeks of bike ownership I’ve come to realize it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re on two wheels. So watch out Georgia, I’m peddlin’ at ya with a big S%$T eatin’ grin on my face.
But first, the gear…
With Stone up on his own two wheels and Fall around the corner I wanted to invest in a good quality ride for myself. The trails we cruise have bikes for rent, which is super convenient and inexpensive, but it’s luck of the draw if there’s enough available on any given day. I’d hesitated in getting a bike because that also meant buying a bike rack and having a hitch installed on my SUV to carry said bike and bike rack. All that seemed a little daunting, having no knowledge in any of those things. I had to get educated on hitches and bike racks – truly exciting stuff, right? I learned more than I care to know and won’t bore you to death with the details but I will share what I ended up getting in case anyone happens to be in the market.
If you need a transport system for your joy ride the first thing you need to figure out is if your car allows the option for a trunk bike rack. (Mine did not) These are the simplest and least expensive rack options since you don’t need a hitch or roof rack system. Let me pause here to give my thoughts on roof racks. They are an option. However, not a viable one for us. I’m positive we’d forget the bikes were on top of the car and drive into the garage, or at least try to. Not to mention who wants to muscle a bike on top of an SUV? Not me.
The only choice that left us with was a hitch rack. As I mentioned I had to get a hitch installed. I went HERE for my hitch. It turned out to be a non-event, super easy. I was in and out in 20 minutes. In choosing a bike rack I needed something that could swing out of the way to allow access to my tailgate. This isn’t so much an issue if we’re going for a local ride but we plan on taking our bikes for weekend trips to the lake and beach so we’ll need to be able to load and unload the car without having to remove the bike rack. The swing racks are more $$$ but I HIGHLY recommend ponying up the extra dough. Otherwise you’re either taking the bikes and rack off the car to access your trunk or pulling things over the back seat, a real pain in the arse.
After all was said and done THIS is the rack I chose. Is it weird to say I love it? I mean, as much as one can love a bike rack that is. It made the maiden voyage to the lake last weekend and carried my wheels without damaging the paint, thanks to the cushioned holds, or getting in the way, thanks to that swing arm I’m so heavily endorsing. Total win all around.
So about those wheels…
Ok, enough about the gear, let’s talk about my spiffy ride. I saw PUBLIC bikes on display at our local BIKE SHOP a few years back fell in love with the retro design and fun colors. The founder of the company was inspired by the people of Amsterdam who depend on bikes, not cars, to get around town. He designed THIS American version of the classic Dutch bike with quality, style, and simplicity in mind. I say he nailed it.
My bike, the C7i, has an internal geared rear hub. Trust me, I had no idea what that meant either but I learned it made shifting easier and had a more robust gear system. To me that translated to a 7 speed bike for dummies that was less likely to break down on the trail. Yes, please. Plus I went nutso for the color.
I added some accessories; THESE grips, THIS saddle, and the rear crate which is currently sold out. I also have a brass BELL which hadn’t arrived in time for these pics. As I started off this post by saying, it truly is fun as hell to ride. I can’t wait for the weather to cool down so we can take some long family rides. Maybe swap those tomatoes for a bottle of Cabernet? The only thing left is to get Justin his own wheels. Something tells me he’s already looking…