Pedaling Pretty: Becoming a bike commuter

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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I’ve been a bike advocate for years now.  I love bicycling. I attend meetings to install additional bike lanes; I urge my friends and family to get out there on two wheels….and I drive to work nearly every day in my Jeep. And I had my excuses down to a science.  I live too far away.  (So I moved into town, a mere 5 minutes from my job. Cross that baby out.) Its winter/snowy/cold/I’m a giant pussy. (It’s Spring.) My bike is too old and heavy and needs a lot of repair.  (My dad told me he’d buy me a new one more suitable for my new city commute.  Best dad ever.)
 
So I’m out of excuses. It’s time to buy a new bike. 
There are a lot of bikes and bikers out there and honestly, it can all be kinda overwhelming to take on.  For me, the best way to start was to decide not only what I did want to accomplish on my bicycle, but also, what I didn’t.  I knew I didn’t want to be a mountain or solely road biker.  I wasn’t the type to take on a 40 mile bike ride all dolled up in a skintight lycra number, jumping across ravines, or doing kick flips. (Are kick flips a thing?)  I wanted a bike that I could jump on, zip to work in a dress and sandals, coffee in tow.  I wanted something with storage in case I need to run to the market, or if I had my work bag full of files. I wanted something that was pretty and stylish and that I looked hella cool on, because let’s be honest, I’m not going to get excited over this.  But I’ll totally swoon over this.  So what features does a lady like me need in a new ride?
Step-through frame:  I’ve heard a lot of back and forth about girls who don’t care about step throughs, but all of my 5 feet 2 inch self needs something that is easy to mount that I also won’t flash the world my chonies every time I get on. 
Internal hub: I wanted at least 7 gears, more if available.  Internal hubs are best because you can switch gears all the time and you’re right where you need to be, none of that clunkety clunk stuck in between gears stuff you get with external hubs.

Fenders:  Fenders will keep you and your duds free from the rain, mud, snow, and even the mystery puddle you just sped through downtown. (Usually whispering the mantra please don’t be vomit, please don’t be vomit.)

Chain guard: Have you ever seen a lovely lady depantsed because her skirt got caught in her bike chain?  Okay I haven’t either, but your chain guard makes sure that doesn’t happen.  Plus no gross brown bike grease stains. 

Upright handlebars: Those crazy ram horn looking curved handlebars are great for serious long distance biking.  But you want handlebars that are upright, straight or slightly far back so that you’re upright and can comfortably look around (and be seen) without getting hit by a bus. 

A bell:  Not only are bells cute, but they serve a purpose in the, you’re not paying total attention but I’m coming at you on a bike, way.

Racks and storage:  Racks because duh, you can strap your shit to them, but I also like the addition of panniers and baskets.  Some people say that they think baskets hinder their full mobility with turning, but I think those people bought the wrong basket.  

I’d been scouring the internet looking for bikes and found a lot of really cute and functional bikes, but I’ve been really iffy about ordering a bike sight unseen that I’m not 100% sure will fit my body type. Or that I have to put together. (Why is there always one screw left over when they do this?) I’m also a big supporter of shopping local when possible, so I’ve visited a few of my local bike shops and have my eye on one in particular that might just be the one.  I’m so excited.  More to come soon. 

xoxo Fearsy

1 comment:

  1. Although we have very different bike needs, I am a HUGE fan of the word chonies. <3

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