I've returned to bicycling after nearly 7 years. The last time I cycled somewhat seriously, I bombed around on a Giant XTC, until it was stollen. The loss was at the perfect point for the insurance company to basically give me the finger on rates. I could either claim, pay the deductible and have the blood suckers extract it from me over a few years with higher rates, or I could suck it up and just go buy a new bike. I didn't want to claim it, knowing that the single claimed theft would be on the records for years, and I also refused to get a new bike. Bicycling died for me at that point
I learned that MEC had designed a series of bikes, and were now selling them. MEC is a wonderful company, which is aligned with a lot of my beliefs, so I decided I would both return to cycling and support the co-operative at the same time. I was set back a little misreading the catalog, believing I needed to travel to Edmonton to buy a bike when Calgary did in fact sell them. Eventually I prevailed, settled on a bike and purchased it.
Talks of geometries, cassettes, tooth counts, cyclocross, clincher rims, fixies, lacing, grouppos and saddles had to be waded through before I could decide on a bicycle. The cycle ecosystem has specialized in several areas and with that specialization the usual slang followed. I decided on a hybrid style bicycle as most of my terrain is going to be cleared paths or the bike network around Calgary. It leans more towards the road bike, but does have a heavier frame and knobbier wheels.
Next was a vicious lesson in how far bicycling has come since I was last immersed in the culture. My new ride has a pedal system in which you clip in specialized shoes; these shoes needed to be put together. Have you ever had to read an instruction manual for a pair of shoes? It was quite a humbling experience. Technology progressed since I last tuned a bike, and I'm happy to say that most of of the changes make tuning a bicycle easier. The one exception is air pressure, as the tires on this bike have presta valves. I have never seen such an animal before, and every piece of pressurized air equipment I have is useless until I get an adapter.
Excitement rains over me, as this weekend is supposed to have good weather, and I have a new toy with which to play.