I bought my first mountain bike when I was 12, rode it for years, even took it on my mission when I was 19. It was a good bike (Yokota Yosemite) and my dad was smart to have me buy the one I did. It was big for a 12 year old and was expensive (paid $500 in 1991), but I had a job and he let me pay him on a payment plan. After many years, the bike was retired (or rather, ahem, sold by my sister).
I bought my second bike from a friend in college. It was a full suspension Specialized Stump Jumper (paid $450 for it) and I got a lot of use out of it, including a trip to Moab to hit the famed Slickrock trail. Unfortunately, the bike was a size too small so after I got married I sold it to another friend for $200.
That was in 2002. I have ridden a mountain bike once since then, and it was a year ago on a Boy Scout outing on Antelope Island. Let’s just say my legs could tell I hadn’t ridden for so many years. But it was great fun and I was excited to get back on a bike.
Fast forward to today. I bought a bike! I visited three bike shops over the last week and ended up buying the first one I rode. It is a 2010 Cannondale F7 hard tail with disc brakes and SRAM components. When I went to a local bike shop (Infinite Cycles) my main goal was to find a bike that fit me. And I did. Cannondale frames come in sizes small, medium, large, XL, and Jumbo. We had some fun with the word “jumbo” — like seriously, do fat people ride a jumbo? — and then I rode the bike. While I was out, the bike shop guy leaned over to Jen and said, “Looks like Jumbo is the size for him.” Just to be safe, I tested a XL bike with 29″ tires (instead of the normal 26″) and it fit fine, but it was a 2011 model and wasn’t on sale. Oh well, jumbo it is. I was very happy to buy a $600 year-old model that was 20% off, so I only paid $480. Sweet mother. The bike shop also offered lifetime maintenance on the bike. Sweet mother again.
I’m excited to have a bike again. I will probably do 85% of my riding on roads but the kids are very excited to ride some of those miles with me. Another cool thing: the owner of the bike shop is a friend of a friend I had in college.