Can you tell I'm excited? The other day, my status update was a cheery, "My bike is getting overhauled!"
Well...the day after we dropped it off at the bike shop, the owner called and told me it simply wasn't worth putting the money into all the things the poor bike needed. Boo hoo. He had no idea...this bike had HISTORY. My hubby bought it well over 25 years ago from his brother, just before he & I met. He rode it to & from work for years, when he was without a car. He rode it on trails...the muddier he was when he got home, the happier he was. We rode together when we were first married. We carted our children around on it, with attached bike seats, taking family rides together. That bike had been on more adventures, in more wrecks, and had more fun than most people do.
So the call from the bike shop was a bit of a bummer. The guy said he wouldn't even bother replacing just the rear tire to keep it as a spare bike. Even $40 was too much to invest in it. That was pretty tough to hear. I looked at that bike and saw a lot of life still left in it. I tried to look at it objectively, seeing the scratches; the peeling reflector stickers; the no-longer-used platform for the child seat; the bottle holder that allowed bottles to fall through the bottom, hence the tie-wrap that allowed us to attach said bottles to the bike with a carabiner clip above the holder; the gears that needed a strong, full-handed grip to shift (when they felt like shifting at all); the broken-off foot cage on the left pedal; the cracked & split hand grips; the worn gear sprockets; the stretched chain; the cracked nut on the handlebar shaft. I still saw a bike worth saving.
Then I test-drove a road bike.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Okay, it was like one of those self-propelled lawnmowers that you run behind, because it's just going that fast. (I felt like Fred Flintstone, holding on to something that's speeding along, with his legs flying out behind him. I even almost shouted, "Willllllmaaaaa!!) When the bike shop owner encouraged me to "move up to the 21st century," I hadn't realized just how not-advanced our bike really was, compared to newer styles. The new bike was lighter, smoother, faster, all the gears worked (!), all was right with the world on that short test ride. Since we'd been talking about getting a road bike specifically for me, it was a very short trip to the "I'll take it!" side of the fence. One of the guys at the bike shop was saying how the new bike was a nice choice, not top of the line, and the other guy said, "But look at what she's used to riding!" and they both laughed and said the new one was about as advanced as I needed for now. Even I chuckled at that.
Goodbye, old Diamondback Ascent EX. We rode you to death...an honorable death.