Saturday, April 30, 2011

Finally, some bike related news!

Finally, after months of cold and bikeless Montreal winter, I have some bike related news to share. And it's big exciting bike related news, too... what could be more exciting than coming home and finding a new bike in the middle of your living room? Tada!

The bike is a graduation present from my sweet and wonderful SO. When I came back to Ithaca for a visit, I walked in and found the bike all set up. I was totally surprised! I would never manage to keep quiet about something like this for a month or so, but he's a much better secret keeper than I am.

When the SO told me that he wanted to build me a bike as a graduation present months ago, we had a few daydreaming sessions about what it would look like. Much as I do love my touring bike, I really wanted a true city bike for everyday riding around. One of my major requirements for the bike was that I should be able to hop onto it and go, with no special shoes, strapping my pants down, bringing a pannier to carry my purse, or worrying about whether I could wear a skirt. Translating this into technical requirements, we decided that such a bike would have a step-through frame, chain guard, a reasonably upright riding position and some sort of basket. And since it's my dream bike it would also be green, preferably a nice bright apple green (mock me if you want, but I know what I like!).

Shockingly, such a bike already exists in the world, right down to the apple green paint. While my SO had a custom build in mind initially, he found the Civia Loring bike while flipping through some product catalogs with our local bike dealer.

It's like someone reached inside my head and pulled out the perfect bike! It has a front basket with a nifty little spot to hang your lock (always an issue on my previous bikes since there's not a really good place to mount a lock on my small frames). The bike also has some fabulous things that I hadn't even thought of, like an internal gear hub and disc brakes. Since I have small (and somewhat weak) hands and Ithaca is a hilly city, I've long had problems with stopping power and the disc brakes are a nice upgrade.

As always, there are still some things to tweak. The bike doesn't have lights right now, so probably installing lights and a generator hub will be a project for the near future. I'm also not sure about the front carrying rack that came with the bike -- it's pretty heavy, which makes it somewhat awkward to lift up stairs, and I'm also still paranoid about stuff sliding out of the shallow tray thing (although this hasn't happened yet). I'm leaning towards getting a basket of some kind, but we'll see.

So, isn't that a fabulous update? Wave if you see me whizzing around town on my new bike!

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