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So last week I had a lovely day for my birthday. We headed out to buy me a bike – actually the first bike I have actually owned since I was but a wee child. After tooling around the car park on the different models they recommended, I rather embarrassingly settled on almost the same model as Hub’s bike.

So we have taken the opportunity to go out for a few rides together on our matching his n hers bikes. I am still pretty rusty on the cycling front – I feel terrified on the road so we try to stick to paths as much as possible for now. Generally this leads to us getting hopelessly lost, me getting pissed off and chucking a massive tanty because I just don’t want to keep riding any more. Today involved a cross country event and walking our bikes up a staircase. It’s great fun.

Once I get home and showered and fed I am normally much more civil to everyone. At the moment I am just happy that the sore arse and sore legs are the things making me groan, rather than fear of coughing up a lung. For those that haven’t yet – make sure you get your flu shot cause this year’s strain is a doozy.

So I was feeling all positive about how everything was going but then was struck down by a terrible lurgy which has been hanging around for over two weeks now. The question of whether or not to exercise didn’t even rate a rumpled brow as I tried to once again cough up a lung.

Surely enough the first sign of feeling better was feeling crabby and envious of Hub going out on his new bike. So my first outing was to head out on the bike with Hub for a leisurely 20K or so along foreshore bike paths. The way out was fine, but for the lack of suspension and/or padding on my bike seat meaning that every rock and pebble vibrated through whatever bones are being hidden by my ample buttocks.

The last 5K or so was wretched, mainly cause my sinuses started streaming (and the aforementioned bone vibration system was not getting any better). Anyway, Hub is keen to keep on schedule with the weekend rides o togetherness, even though he is cheating by getting in lots of kms on the rest of the days of the week just so he can show me up.

With Easter coming up (and me hopefully feeling better again still) the weekend will be longer and the expectation of rides correspondingly higher. So I bit the bullet and got myself some stretchy lycra shorts with associated padding to assist with the whole bone buttock vibration phenomenon. I will try not to frighten the kiddies.

It’s Hub here!

I am not sure that I should admit that considering some of what has been posted about “hub” at this site. So, let me say this at the start: it is all lies!

Anyway, I purchased my bike a couple of weeks ago. Some of you even offered advice on the sort of things to look out for, a big thank you for your input.

The short story is that I ended up buying a [Merida Crossway TS500D]


So, what about the long story?

Well, after visiting four local bike shops I felt like my head was going to explode with the options. The problem for newcomers to the sport is that each bike store stock their own particular brand and therefore push a different bike. As a new person to bikes I had no idea on how to go about comparing what was best. One thing I did like from the bike shops is how willing they were to spend time with me. They listened to my needs and offered suggestions. Other than one store, I could not have hoped for better service.

When asked what my needs were I spoke about how I wanted to ride the Mornington Peninsula foreshore trails. These trails are a mixture of tar paths, compact sandy soil and some bits have loose sand for a few metres. The other use would be the bike paths in the northern suburbs for my commute to work which are tar/concrete paths. I did still want to retain the option of being able to ride on the road in a way that allowed me to experience road riding, as though I felt I wasn’t ready now, I did want the option of testing out if I wanted to buy a road bike later.

The main issue became a choice between a mountain bike – Giant Talon 2 and a Merida Crossway. Each of these were proposed by a different store. The Giant Talon is a mountain bike and the Merida is a Hybrid. The first store I went to (which is closest to our weekender) pushed the Giant Talon strongly. Their argument was that the mountain bike would handle the foreshore well, as well as offering me the road as an option by placing slicker tyres on the bike. The guy seemed somewhat of a purist to me as he was not a fan of hybrids at all. He effectively said: you should either get a mountain bike or a road bike and even better get both.

The second shop (about 20 mins away from our weekender), pushed the Merida Crossway or another mountain bike. Hearing that I wanted to test out road riding they felt the hybrid would offer a better experience on the road, while still being able handle the foreshore tracks.

So, I went back to the first store. The guy was still insistent that the mountain bike would be better than the hybrid. I was not convinced and asked to see some hybrids – basically didn’t want to show them to me. He then showed me a road bike, which I liked but I wasn’t ready for that step yet.

So, the next day I went back to the store selling the Merida Crossway and purchased it.

In the end, I am glad that the process of buying the bike is over and I am really enjoying the sport. It is addictive but in a healthy way. Lots more opportunity to spend money on books, magazines, gadgets and other accessories much to Deege’s dismay.