Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Old folks should buy bikes

I am very lucky to live in an area with relatively flat biking available. Chester County, PA is home to the Brandywine River Valley. We have many roads that hug the long and winding creek. There is a west branch and east branch and they meet up in a little place called Northbrook. So there are lots of nice tree covered basically flat or easy hill roads for me to ride on.

Today I did a very easy 24 miles with the biggest hills being my ascent back into the West Chester boro where I live. I ride a nice bike and I have great equipment as well. I hear so many folks complain to me, I cannot afford to buy a bike or I am afraid to ride on the roads with the cars.

Both of these issues are valid but let me try and convince you otherwise. I purchased my bike 5 years ago. It is a custom bike mainly because I am tall for a woman and not able to buy off the rack so to speak. I have a few good cycling clothes, a helmet and very good bike lights.

I have studied the maps of my area and have driven many of the roads scouting out a good ride. Lots of preparation goes into taking up the sport of biking but so worth it. I have learned how to change a tire and I have learned how to clean and maintain my bike. I make the time to learn these things. As an older female cyclist, I believe in being prepared and knowledgeable on the road.

my custom Spectrum, titanium frame, Shimano ultegra

Pictured above is my bike and below that is the mighty Brandywine with a home way in the background rumored to be home to an Andrew Wyeth relative. 

OK you are still asking why bike????

1. to see great scenery and your own area up close, until I got a bike I had no idea the roads I am now biking on even existed

2. I am 65 years old in a few weeks, the knees are going along with other things but I can still bike and enjoy life

3. I bike slow, real slow, no cars have any issues getting past me, I rarely run into the nasty drivers I hear others complain about but I make every effort to assist in helping cars pass me

4. Get off  your tuff and try a new hobby, I took up biking at age 55 and now 10 years later I am still doing it

5. And most important, getting a bike.................

Go to a good bike store. You have several options, do your homework before you go.

1. buy a good hybrid bike, if you cannot see yourself on a road bike, consider a good hybrid with a TRIPLE CRANK, the triple crank is often referred to as the granny gear!!! well we are grannies

2. if you can see yourself on a road bike you can spend from approximately $1000 to $3000 depending on equipment

3. there are several good brands - TREK, SPECIALIZED, CANNONDALE to name a few. You do not need top of the line components but I do recommend  you get a triple crank

4. Check out my past posts on the right side of this blog on buying a bike, I have done many

Overall I have invested  a lot in this hobby. My custom bike was pricy, $5000 but five years later it is still like new and rides like a dream. For my 60th birthday and all future birthdays, my bike is my gift. Don't need any fancy cruise or a big party. I will ride hopefully for at least another 5 -10 years. So over a 10 year period my investment is now $500 per year. Hardly a steep price for health and exercise. You probably waste $500 a year on eating out and driving your car way too much. 

Your bike will not cost $5000 and can be had for way less. I have biked with lots of ladies over the last 10 years and most have upgraded their bikes. They started with low priced road bikes and after a few years realized the waste of money it was and upgraded to a better road bike.

Nonetheless, I often hear folks say I will buy a cheap bike and see if I like it. Well I can guarantee you will hate biking on your heavy, difficult bike and after a few rides you will discard the bike and complain you wasted your money.


Emily Elizabeth Barker said...

Great post! I foresee you riding for another 15-20 years!

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