I want to buy a bicycle.

 
Schwinn_traveler_1954

I had a good Schwinn bike when I was a boy.  I believe it was the "Traveler" model as in the picture).  It was made in Europe.  It had  a European profile, four speeds, hand brakes, high handle bars and a neat little generator run headlight.  I rode it back and forth to school in the LA area.  This was in the early '50s.

I want to buy a bicycle to ride around Alexandria for exercise.  Any recommendations? I don't want something clunky.  pl

 

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71 Responses to I want to buy a bicycle.

  1. JohnH says:

    I recommend a test ride. Back in 1994 I tried what Consumer Reports recommended. Most of them had a sloppy feel to the ride. I chose the one that felt solid.
    Also, make sure you get one with tires that hold 100 psi. That extra pressure makes a big difference. Also, knobby mountain bike tires are all the rage, but they are terrible unless you are dirt biking. Get smooth tires.
    I own a Bike Friday that folds up into a suitcase or into the trunk. I love it.

  2. The Pelican says:

    Here’s one that’ll work for you.
    http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/details/uptown-8
    Functional, well-made and well suited to older backs and necks.

  3. Pan says:

    Spokes Etc is a locally owned chain of bike stores in NoVA. They have a store in Alexandria at 1545 N. Quaker Lane. http://spokesetc.com/
    They are not cheap, but they have a good stock of bikes. They carry mostly Trek and Specialized bikes. They have cruiser bikes like the one you mentioned that are less than $500 for a decent lightweight one. I like their service department, as they have done good work on tuning up my 20 year old bike.

  4. John Minnerath says:

    I remember those, they were the dream machine of the day as I recall.
    For my birthday about 51 or 52 I got a big monstrous Hiawatha. The one with a tank sort of thing in the frame, full fenders, and coaster brakes. The head light used a couple D cells and those old carbon batteries always went dead when you needed it.
    In the 70s I bought a high tech French made bicycle that cost a small fortune, and was weighed in ounces, the frame was probably forged by elves in middle earth.
    A girl friend borrowed it and moved to Maine accidently taking it with her, never saw her or my bike again.
    Now days bicycles are so complicated and specialized I’d be afraid to ask what they’re for.

  5. Peter C says:

    I have enjoyed riding a recumbent bike the last 10 years. Do try one before passing judgment. I find that the position makes riding more pleasurable, than a regular bike. Regular bikes tend to pitch you forward, no matter the design. With a recumbent the view is more relaxed. The seat is more supportive and does not hurt at the end of the day. The one brand that I like the most is
    http://www.easyracers.com/company.html
    Before you buy, do find a shop that stock recumbent bikes and go for a spin. If the bike you choose is comfortable and fun you will ride more.

  6. charlie says:

    I’d get the Schwinn men’s gateway (sold at Target) or the Admiral (sold at bike shops).
    A bit heavy, but fine for alexandria. The issue is getting your bike stolen, not worth investing that much.
    Downside to the target bike is build quality is low. You’ll pay 250 more for the same bike at the bike shop, but it will work. Otherwise you’ll have the adjust brakes, screws, etc.
    Try the bikeshare as well.
    for a bit more:
    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/bik/3969719924.html

  7. Swampy says:

    Look at Rivendell bikes. My father has one and one day he’ll pass it on to me. I currently ride his old Bridgestone, which was made by the fellow who eventually founded Rivendell.
    I think their philosophy about cycling will fit with what looking for.
    http://www.rivbike.com/

  8. CK says:

    http://www.ebay.com/bhp/schwinn-traveler
    Craig’s list is also a fine source for used and classic items.

  9. Mongoose says:

    Check out a Trek. Very nice ride, neither too expensive nor too clunky and very reliable.

  10. Richard Welty says:

    many of the better manufacturers make hybrid road bikes these days that are very nice. they generally have a more upright seating position with flat handlebars. fit is probably more important than brand, so visit your local bike shops. here are links for three prominent brands:
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/town/models
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/multi-use
    http://www.cannondale.com/2013/bikes/recreation-urban

  11. SAC Brat says:

    Long ago I was a bicycle shop mechanic. Recently I cobbled together a park bike to ride with my kids. It is a old hardtail mountainbike frame with a suspension front fork, suspension seatpost, wide seat, high handlebars on angled riser stem, pedals with power straps and Schwalbe touring tires. If I ride after the kids I don’t use the pedal straps side of the pedal. Very comfortable upright position and smooth ride on pavement and hardpacked dirt.
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/hybrid-city-bikes?f=4294957818
    There are a lot of good hybrid and cruiser bikes available, and the Europeans have some good ideas on practical bikes. Expect maybe $300 on the low end and $1000 for nice production bikes. Fit is important because you can hurt your knees if the seat is too high or too low, and back, neck and shoulders if frame is too short or too long.
    And get a helmet.

  12. J.R. Brooks says:

    Whatever bike you get Col. Lang you should bring along a good digital camera. Street photography can be fun. You never know what you will run into and you will soon learn that what you see once ain’t there the next time your out riding around. I would recommend the Canon G15. It is light weight amd has a good / fast (f-stop) mid-zoom lens.

  13. Richard Welty says:

    [original comment disappeared when trying to post, retrying]
    most major manufacturers make town bikes these days which work well on pavement but have upright seating positions. Fit is probably more important than brand, so visit your lcal bike shop. here are links for some brands that have “around town” models:
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/town/models
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/multi-use
    http://www.cannondale.com/2013/bikes/recreation-urban

  14. major manufacturers these days typically have a line of “around town” bikes with more upright seating position and good componentry. fit is at least as important as brand, so be sure to visit local bike shops. here are some links to manufacturers who make such bikes:
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/town/models
    http://whttp://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/multi-use
    http://ww.cannondale.com/2013/bikes/recreation-urban

  15. Maureen Lang says:

    Pat,
    My good friend Panaman of San Clemente owns five bikes, has been a cycling enthusiast his whole life. I’ve sent him an email for any recommendations/words of wisdom. Will let you know when I get reply (he’s currently on vacation).

  16. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Please check this site and look for hybrids:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/hybrid_bikes.htm
    Once you receive it in the mail, you may have to partly assemble it – I suggest taking it to a bike-shop for that.
    I cannot recommend anything under the old names – they are all now Chinese junk.
    I cannot recommend Trek; too expensive for the qulaity that it supplies.

  17. confusedponderer says:

    Re: the bike on the picture – my favourite bike is very similar to the one on the picture. It’s from Hercules, single speed, and by now must be more than thirty years old. I’m quite fond of it. For one it’s agile, and then, once you have gotten it to speed, it runs forever, like it wants to roll.
    I can relate to the desire to not want something clunky. Handling, geometry, centre of gravity and balance of such ‘classic’ bikes is pretty much unsurpassed by new bikes IMO. The old ones handle more naturally to me. Driving one of those new ones always … feels wrong. I prefer the old ones. Hard to come by nowadays in quality, though.
    My fav bike was a gift from a colleague. I noted it standing in front of the company building and I remarked that I was looking for something like that. The owner heard that, and gave it to me because the bottom bracket was broken – and he had lost the key anyway. So I broke the lock, had the bike repaired and am happily riding it ever since.
    By the time I got it it had stood there for two years in wind and weather I was told. No rust. Everything but the chain was made of aluminium or stainless steel.
    In contrast, as for the materials and workmanship – I bought a bike last year, something faster, and after the winter I had screws and chain that had rusted, and the disc brakes scream bloody murder whenever I use them – resulting in me using the old bike instead. The balance is ok, but not as good as with my fav one. A poor buy.
    So here’s my advice: Don’t order on line unless you have ridden the bike before. If it feels ‘wrong’, don’t buy it.
    I don’t know about your preferences, but If I had to buy now I’d try to keep it simple – internal gear hub (low maintenance), three to eight gears (enough for most urban biking), V brakes (simple and effective), carrier (practical) and light (essential). I’d try to keep weight low. Curiously, such simple bikes tend to be more expensive.

  18. Pan says:

    Pat,
    Check out Spokes Etc. in Alexandria (1545 N. Quaker Ln). They carry excellent cruiser bikes that fit your need. Mostly Trek and Specialized brands. Expect to pay about $500. Their customer service and support is very good.

  19. Robb says:

    These are a little on the expensive side but if you want a bike that is “Euro inspired” (not sure what this means probably that they are not road or mountain bikes) check out Public Bikes from SF.
    http://publicbikes.com/c/diamond-bikes
    Happy ridding!

  20. The Twisted Genius says:

    My first thought was to find a local bike shop to keep whatever you get tuned up. There’s a Big Wheel Bikes at 2 Prince Street. They offer rentals which might be a good idea to see what you like. They seem to aim at a wide variety of customers rather than just elitist road bikers. Can’t hurt to check it out. Good luck.
    I still have an old low end Huffy 10 speed that I bought in 81. Took it to England in a 10th Group portable SCIF. Had a collision with a pheasant on the way back from Wells next the Sea and ended up in the nettles. In Germany I added lightweight fenders to keep road spray away. My sons and I went everywhere. Smooth tires are the way to go.

  21. scott s. says:

    Keep in mind that today, other than some boutique hand build frames, virtually all bike production is sourced from Taiwan or China mainland. In some cases (molded carbon composite) mainland China is about the only game (except for some of the top end for example the top of the line Trek Madone or Cervelo R5). An exception might be Giant which is a Taiwan firm that does most of their own production AFAIK in house and also contracts some OEM production. I think much of the cost is going to relate to the quality of components used, so the “brand name” on the down tube itself doesn’t tell you much. You’ll probably pay a bit more at a bike shop, but in a place like DC where there are so many I would visit a few and get opinions and then test a few to see what works best for you. On a city / hybrid bike you probably aren’t going to obsess about fit, but a bike shop should include enough of a fitting to make sure you are comfortable on the bike.

  22. Jose says:

    I recommend you visit 2-3 respectable bicycle stores and explain your needs, wants, and age. A clear picture should emerge of what would be in your best interest. The store might even let you try the bicycle out before buying so you can make a better decision concerning paved, gravel, or dirt roads. Also, I recommend that you find local bike trails to start and avoid the roads. Miami has several beautiful one along the coast and several adventurous one along The Everglades that are very popular.

  23. elkern says:

    The Schwinn I had in the ’70’s was very similar, but a 5-speed, and I miss it dearly. I figure I rode it at least 10,000 miles (school commuting, regular weekend bike-hikes, & several long trips). It was eventually eaten by a Bougainvilla bush in CA.
    Had a modern hybrid (Diamondback?), but it was stolen off my porch last fall, flat tires & all. The one thing I’d warn you about is that I find the straight-across handlebars to be VERY uncomfortable on a long ride. They’re great for off-road biking, where you need the control to jump stumps & such; but for long, flat cruising, you wind up in one position all the time.
    Traditional 10-speed (“down”) handlebars give you some options, all of which are aerodynamic but uncomfortable.
    The old handlebars – as pictured above – twist back toward your center of gravity; you can sit upright (non-aerodynamic, but comfy), or lean over & put your hands in the middle of the bars for a change of pace (& less wind resistance).
    Also, look for an old-style seat.
    And get a helmet, but NOT the silly pants.

  24. The Pelican says:

    Here’s a nice bike for the older man who is concerned about back and neck strain from a bike with a different lower configuration. … you know, an older man like ME?
    http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/details/uptown-8

  25. Haralambos says:

    Dear Col. Lang,
    I will echo a few above with my advice: go to a local bike shop, get measured for a frame, and try out several models that are adjusted to your body size with a seat you find comfortable plus a fork rake that is from 74 degrees or higher,Think Easy Rider and the angle of their forks: The smaller the angle the more squirrely (sensitive and unforgiving) the response to the handlebars.
    My experience is that a light frame is preferable. The technology has proliferated in 30+ yrs of my riding that none of my tools to maintain my bike are now obsolete. I would recommend a five or six-speed for what I imagine is your riding, but you may have. Check with the dealers. Some bike now go up to 27 speeds with three rings on the front and 7 on the back sprocket. Many of these gears are duplicates, and many are unusable due to stress on the angle of the chain from the front chain=rings (3) to the rear sprockets (7). For tires, I would recommend something over 25 mm (more than one inch) and tires with a bit of a tread–not bald but not knobby–plus mudguards of aluminum and plastic (ESGE used to do these) and a sturdy rack. My bike is 10 Kg. I would advise not to go over about 15 Kg. Sorry for the boring bits of nomenclature.

  26. Maureen Lang says:

    Pat,
    Re: bike purchase- you’ve got email (forwarded) from Panaman.

  27. Cieran says:

    Colonel:
    You might want to give Grant Petersen’s new book a quick read — it’s called “Just Ride”. He’s the founder of Rivendell bikes (mentioned in an earlier comment), and while his book is clearly a polemic, it will help prevent your turning into what we cyclists call a “lycra lizard”. Grant describes what he calls the “unracer”, and his views are definitely worth a read (though definitely with a grain of salt). By the way, Rivendells are classics, but they are pricey!
    You have some REI stores near you — they have a great variety of bikes at reasonable prices, and their store brand (Novara) is generally a good value. REI also has some fine sales staff, and they are committed to their products. Whatever you do, don’t get a cheap bike at a big-box store, or something you have to assemble. If you want to ride, it’s best to buy equipment that will make riding fun and easy, instead of mysterious and complicated.
    I have something like a dozen bikes in the garage here, including three Grant Petersen-designed beauties, a rare Mountain Goat Route-66 designed and built by legendary cycling innovator Jeff Lindsay, a Handsome Cycles She-Devil mixte that I use to commute to work and to get groceries, a Soma Buena Vista for friends who visit and need a bike to ride, two mountain bikes, and a raft of others, going back to my Zeus Pro that I raced in college back around 1970 when I was young, fit, and fast. Those were the days!
    I’ve ridden well over 100,000 cycling miles in my time, and based on all that time in the saddle, the single piece of advice that I would give you is this: ride what makes you comfortable, and what you enjoy being on. Don’t ride a bike that’s designed for Tour de France wannabes — find what fits YOU, and what makes YOU feel safe and sound.
    For example, Electra Bikes makes some interesting vehicles (called Townies) that permit the rider to sit comfortably on the saddle while putting your feet flat on the ground. For some folks, that’s the ticket to getting out to ride… for others, it’s the last thing you’d ever want to do. I bought a Townie after I blew out a knee mountain biking above Santa Fe several years back, and while it would be the last bike I’d ever ride now that I’m back in form, back then its upright posture was just the ticket for me to able to get back into the saddle, and without it, I might have given up cycling.
    So find what works for you, and if you have technical questions, I’m always glad to help. You get the kind of kick out of cowboy boots and firearms that I get out of velocipedes, so if I can be of assistance, just let me know!

  28. FkDahl says:

    Colonel,
    When in Europe I bought a Fahrradmanufactur T-600.
    Serves me very well.
    http://www.bikefix.co.uk/fahrradmanufaktur

  29. robt willmann says:

    Although it has been a long time since I have ridden a bicycle regularly, or even at all, come to think of it (!), my only means of transportation for most of the time I was in school in Austin was a bicycle. This was before the population and real estate boom there. Riding in and around the University of Texas, through downtown, over Town Lake to down south was great. Back then you could even do it late at night with no problem. You need–
    1. The old “up style” handlebars, not the 10-speed+ “down” handlebars. (Maybe the straight-across ones after testing.)
    2. A padded, broad seat, so riding is not like sitting on the non-brushing end of a broom stick. This may require getting a custom seat or special order.
    3. Only a few gears. More than one but not more than 10; to cruise around downtown you do not need to shift gears constantly. Even if there are hills around where you are, you don’t need more than 10 gears for your purposes.
    The high handlebars and large seat may appear to some to look dorky and silly and old-timer, but it is your rear end to preserve, including the ability to maneuver in town, which is more easily done with high handlebars, or maybe even the straight-across ones, if you try them out and like it.
    In Germany, people ride bicycles even to the grocery store, and no one laughs at them (and they also take them on the trains).

  30. I’ve always had great success with service and pricing at Performance. They won’t oversell you a bike, and they’ll fit you with what you’re looking for. And I might recommend a GT Comfort/Urban cruiser bike.
    REI is another great option, though you may spend more there.
    Ride well, Col.

  31. robt willmann says:

    Also, depending on how the bicycle is designed, the handlebars may be easy to remove. If so, you could have your own custom handlebars made. There are still guys around who have independent machine shops, and skilled, conscientious engine rebuilders have excellent machine tools.
    Several years ago I went into a bicycle shop in Austin and was shocked at the (ridiculous) prices of the new bikes. You might scout around for a used one. Students at the Univ. of Virginia (what a beautiful campus), VMI, or other colleges might be selling theirs upon graduation.

  32. Lamoe2012 says:

    I got bike in the first week of June. I got a trail bike which may look a little chunky. I love mine. If you planning on tooling around town I would suggest a road bike with gears. Inclines can be brutal if you’re a little out of shape. On brands that has been covered by the other posters but I’ll add my three cents. Trek (The brand I have) Schwinn, and other brands that have been mentioned are all great bikes. Good Luck have fun.

  33. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    An earlier comment mentioned suspension front forks and seat posts. Good idea. Also if you plan to ride a lot you might want to consider an ergonomic seat design that puts all of your weight on the cheeks and none on the perineum. I have one like this (http://amzn.to/123FlNv), but it took some getting used to because the two butt pads are independently hinged. It took me a while to come to feel I still had good control of the bike. There are other seat designs that similarly relieve pressure on the perineum. You can adjust the separation of the cheek pads and it took quite a bit of trial and error to get it right. Test rides are a also a good suggestion made above.

  34. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    At the risk of sounding terribly ‘mom-ish’, I would simply like to reiterate that a helmet is a very, very good idea. When you last rode the Traveler, helmets were probably not as good and lightweight as they make them now. Worth every penny.
    Also, a good bike shop will fit the cycle for you and per an earlier comment, that will save your knees.
    Finally, I highly recommend getting a nice tire pump. I pump my tires before each ride, and (so far) have not suffered any flat tires.

  35. herb says:

    The best bike is one you enjoy riding. Part of that is location. If you have lots of steep hills or variable terrain, you need lots of gears, but if it is flat, gears are just complexity, expense and take work to figure out and service.
    I am a huge fan of the Trek Lime. They don’t make it any more, but it was a recent automatic 3-speed. Very simple, utilitarian bike with some euro styling, comfort and easy to ride. Plus you don’t need to worry so much about locking up all rims, etc.. You can find them on craigslist for a couple hundred.

  36. The Pelican says:

    Try a Breezer bike. A good choice for an old guy riding around his little town.
    This one only has two speeds, it won’t be too confusing for you.
    http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/details/uptown-5

  37. Edward Amame says:

    Find a good bike shop near you and go talk to them. There are a lot of different bikes out there nowadays for a lot of different uses and body types in different price ranges. They’ll help with that and fit you for the bike you decide on.
    Also, I ride distances and got myself a half-seat after I started feeling numbness in my groin. Problem solved.

  38. marcus says:

    Glad to hear you are maintaining your health.
    Maybe a bamboo bike from Vietnam would be appropriate. They are known for their extrordinary ability to absorb shocks.
    http://hello-saigon.com/2013/05/18/bamboo-bikes/
    If you want to go first class:
    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=boo+bike+from+vietnam&qpvt=boo+bike+from+vietnam&FORM=IGRE
    what might be a better idea for fundraising would be a fund-drive for the purchase.

  39. turcopolier says:

    marcus
    Bamboo bike from VN? I don’t think so. I remember that they used to ride those on the HCM Trail. pl

  40. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You cannot be serious; one has to avoid acting old.
    See here please:
    http://www.hownottoactold.com/

  41. confusedponderer says:

    “In Germany, people ride bicycles even to the grocery store, and no one laughs at them (and they also take them on the trains).”
    True, all of it. I use the train to get to work with my bike (since I can’t shower at work), and then ride back 10 miles every day, mostly along the Rhine – i.e. unlike some of my colleagues, I get to see sky AND get daylight, not to mention all the fresh air. And all of that first hand, so to speak.

  42. LeeG says:

    Good suggestions so far. The Breezer8 looks fine. I got one of these last year to leave at my sisters. Kind of an updated 1950’s Scwinn Suburban 5spd but 8lbs lighter and much better brakes running gear. Very long wheelbase but steering is precise. I prefer the old style swept back bars like your old bike as the wrist position is natural , not rotated in like most mtn bikes and city bikes.
    Felt 8
    http://m.feltbicycles.com/productcatalog/product/1/20086
    Whatever bike you get “ergo” handlebar grips can go a long way to relieve hand discomfort or numbness.

  43. turcopolier says:

    All
    Thanks for all the suggestions. i went around to Spokes, etc. on Quaker Lane. They don’t have comfort bikes and the kid there suggested at one point that they could put trainer wheels on one for me, so that’s it for them. pl

  44. John Minnerath says:

    We get herds of bicycle types through here. Peddling to and from Grand Teton and Yellowstone.
    They descend upon our local General Store/Post Office/Gun shop and livestock supply.
    They mob the bathroom, want fresh water, and get pissed when told “no, the ice isn’t free”.
    Then try to see how completely they can block the front door with their bicycles and take over the picnic tables under the canopy.
    Most have a real serious “attitude”.

  45. elkern says:

    You don’t need MANY gears, just a wide spread – a really low one going up those hills, and a really high one going down. I’d be happy with 3 in between. More gears = more to go wrong.

  46. Fred says:

    My brother works for the NPS. When he was at Cape Lookout National Seashore he said the sailboaters were the worsts. After a week or so at sea they’d use their launch to come to the beach, inevitable leaving a weeks worth of trash behind. How ‘green’ of them to avoid a dumping fee at a marina and clog up receptacles meant for daily beach goers.

  47. SAC Brat says:

    That’s why God installed trailer mirrors on pickup trucks.

  48. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    ersonian
    If you can stand any more information, here are a few links.
    http://www.dutchbikeseattle.com/
    http://www.workcycles.com/
    http://clevercycles.com/
    http://www.salon.com/2008/07/24/sports_utility_bicycle/
    This last is referenced in the article from Salon, and these folks have a device called the Free Radical which can convert an existing bike to a longer wheelbase to facilitate cargo and passenger transport. Ingenious.
    http://www.xtracycle.com/
    Just run your cursor around on each of these sites to find live links or drop-down lists and poke around. Not sure if these companies have East Coast dealers, as most of them are Left Coast outfits, but they deal long distance, and a reputable local shop may be amenable to the set-up for you if you elect to go with something from these firms.
    These links were the result of some research I was doing toward acquiring a city bike with some cargo capacity, or an honest-to-God cargo bike. We live in a town in Southern NJ, and places one might wish to go for recreation or shopping are within cycling distance. The Dutch-style city bikes look promising for your possible use, as they are practical for both transport and recreation, and often have the ability to haul stuff with great stability at need. Farmers’ Market? Serendipitous discoveries? All within their capability to deal with.
    I used to ride my 18-speed bike regularly for exercise and fun, but not for some time, unfortunately when life got too much with me, late and soon. I had saved these links for my edification, but not too long after that, our oldsters started to land on us: first, my mother in law, until she got past our ability to take proper care of her; and then, next, my father, who resided with us for so long as we could handle his care with responsibility. The succession of their residencies has now ended, and they are both living in facilities more suitable for their medical monitoring and day-to-day care. Maybe now might be my own time to resurrect my schemes.
    I hope that this is at least educational; the universe of available bicycle options is stunningly diverse.
    Regards,
    JerseyJeffersonian

  49. Maureen Lang says:

    Pat,
    Don’t let some horse’s ass with an attitude discourage your yen for cycling- the guy should be fired for putting the damper on potential business, if nothing else.
    Other fish in the sea, other bike shops within driving distance that will be delighted to find the right bike for you.

  50. rob says:

    Mountain bike with front fork and seatpost suspension. Not bad. A mountain bike with front fork and a moto cross rear suspension gives sweetest ride. I’ve found.
    I’ll never own any other kind of bike.
    Even better ride if you ditch the the mountain bike tires assuming their trail tires for something more pavement friendly.

  51. harry says:

    And they are better for the neck.

  52. optimax says:

    Portland has a proud and aggressive bike culture.
    http://tinyurl.com/6f6dblw

  53. Medicine Man says:

    I hope you folded him in half and mailed his remains to Antarctica.

  54. turcopolier says:

    All
    I bought a Schwinn Voyager 24. pl

  55. John Minnerath says:

    24 gears!?! wow!
    Nice looking, can you get fenders?

  56. Maureen Lang says:

    That’s wonderful!
    Happy cycling!

  57. confusedponderer says:

    Nice pick. Enjoy cycling!

  58. The Twisted Genius says:

    Nice one. Looks like a comfort saddle. Your ass should appreciate that. I’ll have to get a seat like that if I start riding my bike again.
    BTW, I will never drive to D.C. on a regular basis again. I had an appointment at the VA medical center today. The round trip was over five hours of driving.

  59. Cieran says:

    Great choice, Colonel!
    While you have 24 speeds, there are a few you should avoid, namely big ring in front to big rings in back (bad chain line and too much tension on the chain makes shifting difficult or impossible) and little ring in front to little rings in back (too little chain tension can make the chain hop under load, which isn’t fun).
    I’d recommend putting the chain on the middle ring in front, and then doing your shifting with the rear derailleur until you’re 100% comfortable on the bike. That’ll give you an 8-speed that is easy to use and should handle most of your around-town needs. Learn to keep your pedaling cadence up (at least 40-60 cycles per minute) and you’ll maintain your strength longer and you’ll recover after hills quicker.
    And finally, you should have a look at your state transportation department’s website to learn your rights and responsibilities as a cyclist. Most state adhere to the uniform vehicle code, which gives cyclists the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles, i.e., the right to a lane, but the responsibility to obey all traffic control devices such as stop signs.
    You should also check with your city government to see if bike registration is required in your area. If not, it’s still a good idea, as then your bike’s serial number is recorded in case of (heaven forbid) a bike theft.
    If you ride according to the legal rules of the road (e.g., as far to the right as practicable), and ride predictably and consistently (so that motorists aren’t surprised), then you can safely enjoy the roadway and your area’s dedicated bike paths.
    So keep those tires properly inflated, and may the wind always be at your back!

  60. turcopolier says:

    Cieran
    All I wanted was something to ride around the neighborhood. pl

  61. Cieran says:

    Colonel:
    Well, that’s how it starts, but you can never tell where it’ll lead.
    As JFK said… “nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride”

  62. YT says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Guv6hWaIQaE
    “I want to ride my bicycle
    I want to ride my –
    Bicycle races are coming your way
    So forget all your duties oh yeah
    Fat bottomed girls
    They’ll be riding today
    So look out for those beauties oh yeah”

  63. turcopolier says:

    YT et al
    why are there so many fat assed and generally fat young women today? pl

  64. confusedponderer says:

    Look into their shopping carts in the supermarket and often enough you’ll find the answer there. I can’t help doing that.
    It is frightening to see what crap some people eat and drink – fat and sugar aplenty, with apparently little physical activity to burn all that.
    Once the body has adjusted to that diet, getting rid of weight must be all the harder.
    Also, I see a loose connection between poverty and weight, in the sense that the cheap food often is the worst, health wise. That is not to say that unprocessed food like fresh veggies and so forth is expensive. It just is rare in those aforementioned shopping carts.
    I have met girls who wouldn’t know what to do with a sprout, let alone what a sprout is. Pizza in contrast, is infinitely more familiar, and it is almost ready to eat. Sprouts on the other hand need treating and cooking. And when did you last see an advertisement for sprouts? Or tap water, for that matter.
    Some people are lazy and they shop, eat and live unreasonably. Because they can.
    PS: I tried Mountain Dew recently and there is nothing about it that in any way justifies the popularity. It’s just “sugary nothing”, and that is putting it friendly. I’d rather lick dew from leafs (as my cat is so fond of) than ever drink that crap again.
    PPS: And I didn’t believe when my cousin told me that there is sugared milk on sale in the US, in gallons, until she proved it. What on earth does milk need added sugar for, never mind in such quantity (what do you folks use as fridges – ISO containers?)? Nuts! As if milk doesn’t have a good taste of its own …
    PPPS: When I bake US cake recipes I have made a habit of just using a third of the sugar listed in the recipe, and I usually still find it a tad too sweet then. Using the unmodified recipes and feeding the cake to my nephews would turn them into chipmunks on speed for the next 12 hours I guess.
    Curious and curiouser – that is to say, some of this is beginning in Germany also. Anyway, … off I go, need to ride my bike.

  65. YT says:

    Col. sir,
    IMO, a diet of jumbo-sized sodas, TV dinners, & other disastrous lifestyles choices.
    O. did good on limiting how kids indulge themselves across America, methinks.
    Heavyset people sometimes stuff themselves with food ‘coz they feel depressed (sometimes ’bout the way they look)…
    & when they’re feelin’ sad, they resort to cramming even more foodstuff into themselves.
    In addition, the way advertising portrays our present-Day Ideas ’bout Beauty only makes things even more depressing for our heavyset associates.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH986VE47M8

  66. elkern says:

    Bloomberg was right!
    (I’m tempted to put one of those character-faces in here to indicate that I’m kidding, but that’s just not my style)

  67. turcopolier says:

    elkern
    Say what? pl

  68. YT says:

    Einverstanden, Sir.

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