I purchased this bike more for mountain biking, notice the bigger thick tires. I thought living in Wyoming and near some awesome parks, this was the "sport" I was going to get into. Also like most people I just went to a box store to pick out a bike. I spent $100 on this bike and thought it was such a good deal. I loved it because it was white. Not overly girly, but pretty. Riding it the first time (in the above photo) I was so awkward. I wrecked once in my parents yard, on grass luckily. However I did crash in the store while trying it out.
For most people a bicycle from a box store is probably okay. It all depends on what you want to do. If you plan to do casual bike rides every once in awhile on paved flat surfaces then you probably would be okay on a Huffy type bike. I also only bought the Huffy to make sure that I was even going to like riding a bike. No one wants to spend tons of money on something and then NOT use it. Kinda like buying exercise equipment!
As I rode my bike more and more I realized that I really enjoyed being outdoors peddling away. Cheyenne is rated the 4th windiest city in the United States, which means it's windy almost everyday. When I say wind, it's like 20 - 40 m.p.h. on average. Riding a bike in the wind is a total workout. Also the high altitude makes the air thinner making it harder to breath when you are out on the bike. Fast forward to a bike ride that Cody and I did four months after having the Huffy....
It was a trail located in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Probably the most scenic trail I've seen so far. You are looking at the Rocky Mountains while peddling. This trail killed me. I couldn't even bike for an hour. It was hill after hill causing me to run out of oxygen very quickly. I actually had a meltdown. I started crying and threw my bike to the ground. It was that day that I realized my Huffy was working against me. I knew there was no way I was that out of shape. It wasn't till I visited an actually bike shop that I learned what the problem was.
I weigh around 85 pounds. Try not to roll your eyes, I'm very short. The size of a child actually. HA! The bike shop owner asked me if I knew how heavy my Huffy was. It weighted in at 48 pounds. OUCH! This was the main reason I was struggling so hard. Between the strong Cheyenne wind and the weight of my bike, I wasn't able to move. The bike was half my weight and I was trying to push through the wind on it. So this is a little lesson for you guys. Box store bikes will weigh more, which means more peddling and weight that you have to physical peddle around. These bikes are made from aluminum, which is heavy. Bike shops and the high end bike brands still sell aluminum bikes, but they are geared differently then box store bikes.
When I decided to buy a better quality bike I had also decided that I wanted to stick with road biking. Mountain biking scares me. I imagine that it's a great adrenaline rush and you do get to be really close to nature by actually biking in the woods. There was a day that I had to take my bike off the pavement and ride on a dirt road for a few minutes. It was so bumpy and uncomfortable. I hated it instantly. It doesn't mean that someday I won't get into mountain biking, but it's just not what I want to do right now.
Cannondale in my opinion makes the most beautiful bikes. Once people get into cycling they usually pick one brand that they favor over others. When I bought my Cannondale it was the only bike in the shop that would actually fit me. It's was a youth sized bike made for children's triathlons. As soon as I took the first ride on it, I couldn't believe the difference. It was smooth, faster, lighter and more fun. Finally, I could peddle in the wind and hills would kick my butt as much.
The more we rode our bikes, the more I felt that this was becoming a new passion and hobby. It's really like free therapy. I mean it. Cody and I get stressed a lot from our "military" lifestyle. We get down and lonely often. However as soon as we hop on the bikes it's like you forget everything. The stress just melts away. It's great exercise, you get to be outside and it's fun.
Since my Cannondale was a youth bike and for triathlons it was not geared the same as Cody's bike. Keeping up with him has been hard. It wasn't going to work for what my long term goals were with cycling. I should of waited and not just hurried up and bought the bike, but honestly at the time I had a budget set in my head. I knew what I wanted to spend on my bike and that bike fit into that. Fast forward to NOW. This year I have big plans. I want to bike my little heart out. 100 mile long rides, group rides and lots of hills. That's why this happened....
I'm really not this "bad-ass"! The Sea Shepherd jersey just makes me look like I am.
In a perfect world my bike would have some pink on it. Bikes with pink on them are hard to find. I love the clean black and white look though. My previous bike was all black and didn't fit me at all. This bike even has some silver glitter on it! SCORE! I am so in love with it. My first ride was at night with the bike shop owner. He took me for a ride around a few blocks. I had never rode in the dark, it was pretty exciting. He taught me how to properly get on my bike. Sadly I still don't really get off the bike well. I have a habit of bailing and jumping off the seat quickly. The next day we took it out for a ride, which are what all these photos are from.
After a stressful day at work, hoping on the bike made all my problems seem so trivial. It was around 65 degrees out and the sun was warm on my skin. Listening to the birds chirp as I rode by them felt awesome. Spring is almost here. I can't wait to start gaining strength in my legs so that I am faster and stronger. This year is going to be full of some great rides!!!
You can view all my biking related posts HERE.
Cannondale website HERE.
All the images are linked to their original posts if you want to check them out.