She's an old-school aluminum framed mountain bike, with a front fork shock and big knobby tires... probably a 1998 model, but it looks like someone upgraded her crankset to make her a bit lighter and give her lower gearing. Got her for a mere $100 on Craigslist and spent the past few weeks fixin' her up. This picture was taken on her inaugural trip. Here's the view facing the other direction:
See that trail off in the distance? That was the easy part... before we got to the "highly technical switchbacks." Suffice it to say that our next trip will be on an easier trail!
But I'm absolutely thrilled, because now CatMan and I can get out and enjoy the mountains, which we haven't been able to do for a while. I probably haven't mentioned this, but CatMan has some nerve damage in his ankle leftover from a pretty serious mountaineering accident that he was in twenty-some-odd years ago.
It means that he can't really bend his ankle without setting off extreme pain. So walking is difficult for him, and things like hiking are pretty much out of the question. But he can ride a bike with no problem, so we're really hoping that the addition of the mountain bike to my "stable" will allow the 2 of us to enjoy the beautiful rocky mountains this summer.
Anyhow... this means that I now own three, count 'em THREE bicycles.
Now, there was a time that I would have considered this to be excessive, but here's the thing - all bikes are not created equal. They all have different purposes, and the older I get, the more I have come to believe that you really do need the right tool for the job.
Soooo... I now have Ruby, my road bike. She's super light with a carbon fiber frame and her job is to ride fast for long distances.
This photo was taken when she was brand new... she now has clipless pedals which require special road bike shoes. This bike is probably worth more than my car (which isn't actually saying much) but there's NO WAY I would ever leave her unattended. She even comes into the bathroom with me on pit stops!
Anyhow, the point is, this is NOT a bike you ride for running errands around town, and you also would NEVER want to take her down something that looks like this:
Then there's old Gertrude:
Gerty is probably over 30 by now. I bought her used from a friend of my Ex, and she's gone through several incarnations over the 20+ years that I've owned her. This photo is a few years old, she's now got more bags, a big comfy saddle, slick tires for less riding resistance, and ergonomic handlebar grips.
She's actually not a bad bike, but she's got a heavy chromoly frame (steel - probably weighs over 35 pounds). She's got old-school shifters that are sorta um... challenging to use, and I've got her outfitted with baskets for hauling stuff from the grocery store.
But old Gerty is the perfect bike for running errands around town. I can ride her in street clothes, and while it would be a major bummer to lose her, she wouldn't be worth much on the used market, so I don't have to worry too much about leaving her locked up someplace while I go shopping or whatever.
So there you have it, I've officially become one of those people, with a whole pile of bicycles.
The only thing now is that my new bike needs a name! I'm thinking it should be something rugged and gritty, that conjures up images of the back country... something in the Jeremiah Johnson or Rooter Cogburn vein, but with a feminine twist. Got any suggestions?