Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Scoring a Bike

Over the summer we visited Killington to hike down the hill and couldn’t help but notice the throngs of mountain bikers flying down the hill with reckless abandon. It sure looked like fun, not to mention cool, which is much more important. As you can guess, the excitement did not escape N’s attention, and from the point on he had mountain biking on the brain.

I looked into renting the bikes and equipment, and when you factor in the cost of the lift tix, it comes out to close to $100, which is outrageous. I noticed that some people had their own equipment and bikes, and not all of it was high tech and expensive looking. The equipment that they rent is I believe high end and very cool looking. Naturally N took to it and wanted to give it a try. Also, he was feeling that his own bike would be inadequate.

Now he happens to have several bikes, so he’s not for want of a vehicle, sort of. We just got him his BMX bike, and he has a smaller Trek Mountain bike that he used for a short period before he decided he wanted to ride a big boys bike. The bike in question I got at a yard sale figuring it would be fine for just riding to the rec center and getting around. It’s no frills but decent quality, but for the record, it does not have a suspension, which is what serious moutain bikers all ahve. Even not-so serious riders have them, not to mention people who have never taken their bikes on a trail and have no intentions to. It’s just part of the gear, you get shocks and wear cool gear to look like Lance Armstrong even if you never actually ride your bike. Marketers are smart, they know how to get into our heads.

Either way, once N saw these guys riding their fancy bikes with suspensions, he felt like his bike wasn’t up to speed, and to some degree, he’s right. Riding down trails gets a little bumpy and can be a little hairy. I know from firsthand experience. My bike, which was pretty decent when I got it 20 years ago, doesn’t have a suspension because they didn’t exist when I got it, and I’m sure it makes a huge difference.

The question was, how were we going to address this situation. Buying him a new bike meant a pretty hefty sum, and the practical argument could be made that he already has a bike, but that’s ignoring the absence of the cool factor, which is important to kids. On the other hand, I didn’t want to go out and spend a load of cash on a bike because not only am I broke, but it’s just not the right approach, at least not now while he’s still growing. Plus, he’s never really tried off-road riding. It looks cool, but the realities can be much different.

Anyway, I was over at GG’s house and I was talking to JG when I noticed that they had a plethora of vehicles. I inquired if they needed all of them and if not, if they’d be interested in selling us one of them. She said that one of them was not being used at all and that they were going to get rid of it, so we could just take it. I was floored, but this sort of generosity is not unheard of at the G household.

We loaded the bike into the car, I couldn’t thank them enough, and now N has a cool mountain bike with a suspension. All it needs is pedals, but that shouldn’t be too hard to find. We are all so stoked, none of us more than N, but I’m a close second. We are both looking forward to spring, when we just may have found a new outdoor interest.

Thanks a load to G&JG, I love those guys. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to John O'Nolan for the pic.

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