Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Other Bikes in my Life . . .

Yesterday I posted about all the road bikes I have had. Down deep I am a roadie. Road bikes and road racing is what I really like, but I have dabbled in mountain bikes.

My first mountain bike was a Miyata Ridge Runner. I bought in in the mid 1980s.his was the early days of mountain biking. It was a simple, 18-speed rigid frame with friction shifters. I have to admit that the bike was a hoot! The first day I took it out to the trails behind my apartment, I had a blast. It was like being a kid again. I rode it thru puddles, over logs and rocks, thru the mud and brush. I laughed my head off the whole time. I kept the bike until the early 90s. I gave it to my brother for a favor he did me. We replaced the brake and shifter cables, but it still rode fine.

Miyata Ridge Runner

In time, I bought a Trek 830 Mt. Track when we lived in Vermont. It had a rigid frame, but was a 21-speed bike with indexed shifting. I rode that bike for a quite a while. I had bought my daughter a Trek 800 Antelope. I still have that bike. I rode it a lot when we lived in New Jersey (I swapped the tires with slicks). It was my 'urban assault' bike. The Trek 800 now sits on my turbo trainer for riding indoors in the winter.

Trek 830 Mt. Track

I sold the Trek 830 and my Denti road bike around 2000. I then bought a Mongoose D50 full suspension mountain bike. The D50 was a low-end full suspension bike. It was heavy, and the full suspension did not have any lockout, so the bike suffered a lot of sag when standing on the peddles when going uphill. I had swapped the tires to semi-slicks (allowing me to get a couple of mph faster on the road).

Mongoose D50i Full Suspension MTB

Frankly, mountain biking was never my thing. It is fun as a change of pace, but I always likes the speed of the road bikes. If I could drive a Ferarri or a Jeep, give me the Ferrari!

I gave the Mongoose to the son of a friend of ours in Vermont in 2003 and bought a Klein Quantum road bike (which I still have).

I bought a Haro V4 hard-tail mountain bike a few years ago. I ride it in the early season when the roads are messy. I also ride it occasionally as a change from road riding. Mountain biking can be a nice change from the road as it requires different skills.

Haro V4

When we lived in Vermont we used to go to a used bike shop called the Old Spokes Home. It was a great shop. There were very old bikes, and gently used bikes from all decades. I picked up a 1970s vintage Hercules (Raleigh) British 3-speed. I ride it around on occasion when going into town or when the wife and I go for rides (we should do this more, but we are not a matched pair when one considers riding speed - it is hard riding with an ex-bike racer).

Hercules British 3-Speed

It is amazing to look at how the technology of bicycles has changed over time. Now bikes are made with carbon fiber and titanium alloys. There are now computer-controlled shifters and power monitors. I can't wait to see what the future brings.

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