44: Rolling

When I moved from Duluth back to Aitkin I wanted to keep up the running habits I had acquired thanks to the lake walk and the Grandma’s Marathon / half marathon / 5k. Long time readers will remember that one New Years Resolution was to run 5 – 5ks, and the next year I ran Grandmas Half, and the next year the Marathon (although by that point I was living in Aitkin).

I wanted to join a running group, and I wanted to meet people outside of who I already knew in Aitkin, so after some Facebook searching I found Lakes Area Multisport and started going to events, and quickly realized these people didn’t just run, they swam, biked, and ran. I still owned my Schwinn that my parents bought me when I was in Middle School, so I knew a bike purchase was in my future.

At that time, I bought from Gear West, and I knew triathlons were in my future. I bought a Trek madone, which I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew it was a road bike, not a tri bike, and the tires were skinny, and I was going to start clipping in, and I was afraid to get a flat tire. I swore I wrote a blog post about buying that bike, but I guess I never got around to it?

Anyways, I bought that road bike in 2014. And it served me well. I did sprint triathlons, and a 41.5 mile triathlon, and never quite got to a half ironman, but I did bike 124 miles in one weekend (from Brainerd to Walker and back), and around the Twin Cities. However, a road bike hasn’t really fit into my life in the last few years. Now I’m leisure riding with friends, and no one else is clipped in, and no one else has the skinny road bike tires. But my Schwinn from 2001-ish doesn’t quite cut it either, its big and clunky, and while there is nothing wrong with it, if I have to go uphill, I end up having to walk because the dang thing is so bulky.

While setting up my road bike to go on my trainer so I can do Peloton workouts, Jeff off-handedly mentioned how much easier summer rides would be if I was on a different bike. And he’s right. So I went to Gear West, and I bought a hybrid. My mom bought a hybrid a couple years ago and loves it. She can ride 30 miles comfortably and the tires can handle different terrain (road bikes are pavement dependent, no gravel allowed). The folks at Gear West almost talked me into a different road bike but I didn’t let them sway me, and stuck to the Hybrid bike plan. I’m excited to get out and ride, and while I know others are out there now with the good weather, I’m waiting until there is a rain that pushes some of the sand/dirt off the roads.

Do you own a bike? What kind?


  1. I have a hybrid bike, too. For awhile I was wishing I had a road bike or cross-over as I thought maybe I would do more triathlons. But I think it’s best to have a hybrid as I don’t see myself doing tris and if I do, my hybrid is good enough! I haven’t been on my bike since before getting pregnant with Paul, though. I hope to get back on it someday but know this isn’t the summer for that. Maybe by next summer, though!

  2. Wow, this is exactly the post I was looking for! I was just starting to research bikes this week! I want more leisurely rides and was looking at cruisers at Walmart because I don’t know how fancy I need to get. But this gives me inspiration and that I’m probably pointed in the right direction.

    1. It depends on what kind of riding you’ll be doing. If you’re leaving your garage and riding 5 miles or less on flat roads, you’re good with the Walmart cruiser. If you’ll be putting the bike in the car, and biking for 10 miles or more, it’s worth the money to go hybrid.

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