I love the process of buying a bike. I call it a process because you can’t just pop on over to your local bike shop and pick yourself up a bike on a whim like you would buy a pack of gum while standing in a check out line at the grocery store. That just wouldn’t be right. If you did this you would miss out on all of the wonderful agonizing over every minute detail that makes this decision so fun. Here are a few examples that just scratch the surface in a bike buying decision.
What gearing is just right for you, and is it time to step up to the manly mans table and drop the granny gear?
Should your components come from Italy or Japan?
Should the pedals have an acronym like SPD or be named after an amphibious animal such as a frog?
Then there’s the whole cost – weight – benefit analysis that must be done. Is it worth an extra $200 to shave off 155 grams or should you just replace a few double bacon extra deluxe cheeseburgers with single bacon cheeseburgers in your training diet instead.
Oh the agony and the ecstasy all at the same time.
Apparently, this exquisite process doesn’t apply to a girl that is about to turn 11. I know… hard to believe. A couple of weeks ago I took my almost 11 year old daughter bike shopping for her birthday and on the way there I asked her what she had in mind. Of course I was thinking that would start a spontaneous conversation about her decision to be become a mountain biker or a roadie and what her future cycling goals would be. But to my surprise her answer about her cycling aspiration was a pink bike that would be able to fit a cute wicker basket on the front. Oh, the pain!!!! Where have I gone wrong as a parent? I get the whole pink bike thing but a wicker basket? How is that aerodynamic?
After enduring a couple private moments of cycling parent grief we went into the store to find her dream bike. To her horror the bikes that sported the pink motif just didn’t work for her so she settled on a nice mountain bike in a very girly baby blue. Just what she wanted.
On the way home she was super excited to take it out so I took advantage of her excitement to teach her a little about her new steed. By the time we got home she could recite that in addition to being a very pleasing baby blue bike that could sport a front wicker basket it was also a hard tail mountain bike with a triple. I guess we’ll have to take the cycling geek thing in small steps. We did take it out for some sweet mountain biking a couple of days later. I predict some night mountain biking in our future (with a wicker bike basket).