Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Dreaded First Post

Where to begin. The ideal thing is to catch your, the readers, attention right off the bat. Anecdotes or a catchy quote would do the trick. To do this I'll use a story about one of the baddest mothers of all time. During a public meeting involving The Man, Winston Churchill, a woman stood up and accused him of being drunk, which he often was. His reply was "Madam I may be drunk, but in the morning I shall be sober and you shall still be ugly." Drunk as he was, he helped win the war and was just generally an O.G. From this I take it that any sentence that begins with "I may be drunk..." no matter how creative could not compare to that of the one mentioned by Winston Churchill, and that has nothing to do with this blog, bikes, or anything at all really, but now you are paying attention.

As of April of 2009 I was a long time barely casual rider of sub $200 "mountain" bikes from places like Crappy Tire. Used for such things as for riding short distances back and forth to work and school. Constantly not having a comfortable, enjoyable ride I decided that it was about time for me to look into purchasing a higher end road oriented bicycle from an LBS (Local Bike Shop). Not knowing anything about bicycles I hurried for the inter-tubes to do my research and as I had never ridden a bike with turned down style road bars, I decided that a Hybrid street bike was the ticket. After some looking around there were some good options locally from Specialized and Trek, with the Sirius and the FX series respectively. These were offered from Canary Cycles here in St. Johns, Newfoundland, who I have dealt with before for minor repairs and tune ups on my old junker, good service. But the ones that caught my eye were the FCR series from Giant, which are dealt here by a small bike shop tucked away called Earle Industries owned and operated by Harold Earle. From what I could tell by looking at the components on the shimano and other respective websites (which are a nightmare for beginners) the Giant FCR 2 seemed to have slightly superior components for a better cost. After much debating, selling my entire DVD collection, convincing my father that you could actually spend $900 on a bike and getting him to chip in as a University graduation present, I picked up the Giant FCR 2 from Harold.

It's now late August. A couple of years ago I biked from my parents house to university on an old junker and thought I was going to die. It was around 16km. Now after buying a rack, panniers, pump, seat bag, tool kit, water bottles, bike computers, and biking the top right portion of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland almost in its entirety plus commuting every day (~1000km so far I estimate) I have learned a lot, but still have a lot to learn. In less than two days my girlfriend and I (who purchased a FCR3 and is slowly but surely getting into the sport with me) are leaving to bike/camp 347 km in 10 days with two sets of rear panniers and a fully loaded trailer. In the next couple of posts I will document my preparation for the trip, and then when I get back on September 7th I will post video blogs from the trip as well. In the coming months I will have flash back postings about experiences and things I've larned over the past couple of months, as well as the plans to get a proper touring bike over the winter. Hopefully a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I hope others will read this and think, "Hey cycling 50km in a couple of hours really doesn't sound that bad!" and go pick up a bike from Harold or some other LBS. Or someone else who will just learn some little thing, that I had to learn the hard way. Or some others who are experienced cyclists, or who've never ridden a bike just get an occasional laugh. See you next time.