Sunday, October 18, 2009

Being Bikeless

I am currently bikeless.

This, for many avid cyclists is basically your worst nightmare. That both bikes should end up in the shop at the same time- and for weeks.

First my shifter on my Jamis Satellite road bike went. I didn’t think this would be that big of a deal. Last time I broke a shifter on my mountain bike (after years and years of use) it ended up being around $85 for the fix. Well, it turns out that road bike shifters are, ahem, seriously more expensive. When the bike shop was dropping prices like $275 on me I dropped my jaw.

Jamis Women’s Satellite Road Bike

$275? Ouch. That was basically half of what the bike cost me and I had only bought it in July. Luckily, I’ve found my newest favorite bike shop and they’re working with Shimano to get me one new shifter under warranty.

Fast forward to now. It’s about three or four weeks later and I am still eagerly awaiting the return of my road bike. Turns out Shimano is either the slowest moving company in the world or they really have no stock right now. I am leaning on the side of niceness and think that they just plain old don’t have inventory.

Being without my speedy little road bike wasn’t too much of a worry at first since I still had my trusty Jamis Dakota Sport mountain bike. Right. Except the part where I am five miles into a fifteen mile ride and discover I have no rear brakes. I carefully make my way back to my car and shoot over to the bike shop.

“No problem,” they tell me. “We’ll bleed your brakes and replace the disc pads and you’ll be like new. What’s that horrible squeaking sound?"

“Oh,” I say. “It’s been like that ever since I bought it. The shop I brought it from first told me to ride it more and it would just stop making that sound. Then they told me that some people’s brakes will just make that sound.”

Misty and Bike

Fast forward to now, two weeks later where I am still without my mountain bike because it turns out that Shimano had a recall on those brakes. Turns out something with the caliper allows the mineral oil to leak out, thus the no brakes thing, thus the squeaky noise from the get-go thing.

So I am currently bikeless, during possibly the best biking season of the year. I go about my day feeling like I’ve forgotten something really important all the time. You know that feeling when you leave some place and you feel like you forgot something important like your purse, or like your kid? That’s basically how I am feeling right now being bikeless.

I do have one solution to this problem though- I need more bikes!


Red Bike said...

I'm out of bikes at the moment too. The brakes on MTB have died £60 to repair. The rear wheel on my road bike is buckled.

My racer is all in bits in a padded back until summer.

bettymountaingirl said...

It's a very sorry state to be in. People have been suggesting I take up new hobbies- less expensive ones like running. It's just isn't the same though :)

kate said...

new bike. new bike ;)
how about some trail runs in the mean time?

trio said...

Buy a NEW bike NOW!!!!

No girl should be bikeless!

bettymountaingirl said...

hehe! I love the way this post is going .... Kate- the running shoes keep staring at me daily saying- get back on the trails missy :)

jumbly said...

I see no need for further discussion, it is clearly new bike time.

bettymountaingirl said...

Clearly! I need to be forwarding this all to my boyfriend :)

Carmen Marlot said...

I concur, it's new bike time. I started the year with 5 bikes and now I'm down to 2.5. One road bike was crashed and the frame broke, one mountain bike was stolen. I still have one road bike and one mountain bike along with a hybrid in pieces (I like to take things apart). Don't know what I would do if I were completely bikeless.

Doug Brummett said...

Welcome back. Bikeless, but blogging is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately bikeless is a state most of us end up in at some point. I try to keep spares of most parts, even extra bikes around. But even with 2-3 bikes you can still end up bikeless. Best advice I can give is to unplug and enjoy the forced break from riding. You will be back in business sooner or later.

Jeff Moser said...

I rely on my bikes for transportation as well as recreation, so I always make sure I have a couple running. It's nice to have a few bikes available, but you have to balance it. Too many bikes can be a storage or maintenance nightmare.

I have a couple single speed mountain bikes that can be used for commuting or mountain biking. No suspension or gears...there is very little to go wrong on these bikes. And since there are fewer parts, you tend to make sure those parts are in good working order.

Having a single speed in the fleet is a good backup plan. If a suspension fork goes out, or in your case, a shifting can take days to get things fixed. Common parts you'll need for a single speed are cheap and readily available...brake shoes, cables, tires, chains, freewheels, etc.

bettymountaingirl said...

Good point on the single speed Jeff! It seems like these days, that all roads are pointing me towards a single speed :)

Thanks for the encouragement Doug! Even though I feel like I am missing my left arm it- it's sort of giving me a bike break. Not surprisingly, the old knee and hip problems are nowhere to be found now that I am mainly hiking, and seriously debating running.

Carmen- you almost sound like you are going through a bit of a bike curse. Fear not! Stolen bikes surprisingly can make their way back to you (I never would have believed it before it happened to me. If I haven't told that story I need to!) I hope you manage to always keep two wheels on the ground! (with plenty of gears to shift and brakes to stop you as well :)

trio said...

Singlespeeds rock! Definetly NEED one of them!