This is the second part of Bicycle memories. You can read the first part of Bicycle Memories.
I ended up moving back to Idaho and that department store mountain bike of mine remained in Virginia.
I never road bicycles after that until one year in high school. I went out a bought a Diamondback bicycle from the the local motorcycle shop. Yep, that was a mistake. Read on the Diamond Back mistake at your leisure. Suffice it to say I had the bike for one day.
I did not own another bike until I was about 24. I started reading mountain Bike action magazine and I wanted to get a bike to start riding around. There was a used huffy at a department store in Pocatello that was obviously a returned bike. It was covered din dirt and oil. I negotiated with the manager and picked it up pretty cheap. I rode the bike home and when I got home I was sweaty and tired. I was not tired because of the length of the ride, it was pnly about a mile. I was not sweaty because of the heat, it wasn't too hot that day. I was not tired because I was riding like Lance Armstrong. I was tired because I had a bike that did not shift properly, a rear tire that would not hold enough air, and a frame that was too small. Yep, I got another bike with a frame too small. It was only a tad to small, the frame it's self could be built up into a nice bike with a good component kit and Mavic wheelset. I only rode this bike a few times. I still have it in storage. One of these days I will strip the bike down to the frame, powdercoat it bright orange and build it up with a good build kit.
In 2004 I needed some transportation. Being without the funds to buy a car I was looking at bikes at Wal-Mart. I knew I needed to get a bike. At this point a bike was going to soon be a necessity for myself. I knew from all of the reading I did in Mountain Bike Action magazine that I did not want a department store bike. I knew I needed to got to my Local Bike Shop but the prices at Wal-mart were hard to fight. I spent a lot of time looking at the bikes at Wal-Mart on multiple occasions. I knew I did not want a full suspension bike from Wal-Mart because the full suspension on the department store bikes were crap. Heavy, not functional, and just their for the looks.
I had narrowed my selection down to a couple of hard tails. One of them was a Schwinn. I new Schwinn was a good bike. I went home and Googled information on the 2 bikes. I needed some expert opinions abut which of the two would be a better but. I learned Schwinn made quality bikes sold at some local bike shops but the Schwinn's at the Department stores, including the one I was looking to by, were just a junk bike. Heavy frame, cheap components, and usually not assembled properly. After reading about all of the mechanical problems and how much it cost people who had bought the department store bikes to have them fixed I soon knew the department store bikes were no good for me. I needed a reliable bike and I would not be able to afford taking my department store Schwinn into the local bike shop to get my bicycle fixed constantly.
I knew it would cost me a lot more in the long run if I bought a cheap bike from the department store. I ruled out buying a bike because I could not afford to buy a quality bike from a local bike shop. One night I was out and about with my mom and we drove by Scotts Ski And Sports in Pocatello and on a Whim we stopped just to look around and window shop. It was winter time, It was snowing, and Scott's was clearing out the bicycles to make room for the skis and snowboards. I went to the second floor of the bike shop and was looking at the bikes when a lady that worked there came over to help me.
She showed me a 2004 Gary Fisher Wahoo. I really liked the way it looked but I was all about functionality. If I could of a got a reliable bike but it was bright pink with rainbow logos on I would have been happy. I sat on the bike. She told me it fit me right. She told me the bike shop was getting rid of all of the 2004 bikes to make room for the new models. The Gary Fisher I was sitting on was knocked down to $300.00. She told me about how their layaway works and I was sold. I put the 2004 Gary Fisher Wahoo on layaway along with a bike lock and a computerized odometer.
A few months later I went in to pick it up on a warm day.. My life had changed drastically and I knew I was gong to need the bicycle I spent the rest of my money to get it off of layaway. I wheeled the bike outside and started riding down the street. This was the first time I had actually rode the bike. The ground was covered din snow when I originally put the bike on layaway.
As I rode in downtown Pocatello I headed for the Portneuf Trail to ride towards my home. I had never used trigger shifters before. I shifted up. It was nice and smooth. I shifted up a few more times and was totally amazed at the shifting of my bike. This was my first non-department store bike and I was extremely happy with my purchase. The first time I went to down shift I had to stop and look at the shifters. I had no idea how to down shift. A split second later I seen the little lever to downshift with. I was stoked. One finger to downshift smoothly and one thumb to upshift smoothly,. I was amazed at how smoothly the bicycle shifted. I rode about 10 miles that day first day and enjoyed every second of it. If I would have had a department store bike I would of hated my ride that day.
That 2004 Gary Fisher Wahoo I bought is still my daily ride. I ride it o work year round. It has taken me all over in all weather conditions. The original computer I bought to tack my miles and speed broke and I never replaced it so I do no know how many total miles the bike has gone. I', guessing it has gone about 4,000 miles so far. It has saved me a lot of money.
I will continue to ride this bike of mine. I will eventually get me a new bicycle. There are a lot of bikes I like but my next bike will probably be a hardtail 29er. I prefer hardtails. The Gary Fisher Wahoo I bought is still stock. I will soon upgrade and replace the grips and seat. I will add a Raceface crank. The crank does not need replaced but I'd like to upgrade it.
I am very attached to my bike. To me my bike is not an inanimate object. It is my friend. When I look at all the bikes I have owned this Gary Fisher Wahoo is by far my favorite. It's solid, reliable, and fun to take out for the weekend. Just like a good friend.