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New Bike Day!

New bike day might be even better than Christmas Day.

The shiny beauty of a new bicycle makes it hard to tear my eyes away. Even better, there's the promise of adventures that await.

I haven't owned a lot of bicycles in my life, but I'm making up for lost time now.

I'll never forget my first bike. She was a beauty! I loved cruising around my little hometown.

My first bike was a Schwinn Stingray.

My second bike was a Pepto Bismol-pink ten speed bought secondhand. I delivered newspapers on it for a short time.

I got a bright red Bianchi mountain bike in college, but I didn't ride it much. Those were my seriously lazy years. It got stolen at some point.

My bikes
Dolce Elite and Specialized Hard Rock
When I moved to DC after college, I got a navy blue Specialized Hard Rock. I eventually switched to hybrid tires and rode all over DC, Arlington and the C&O Canal towpath. 

I loved the feel of the heavy steel, though now it seems like a tank at 29.7 pounds! 

On our second real date, Hubz and I went on a bike ride around DC. It was astride my Hard Rock that I realized I was in love with him.

Sadly, in recent years this bike aggravates my bulging disc so I haven't ridden it in awhile.

My most recent ride has been a 2008 Specialized Dolce Elite. She's nimble, and light, being made of aluminum. This was my first bike with clipless pedals. 

I have commuted many miles and rode a half century at The Back Roads on the Dolce Elite. Unfortunately 50 miles is probably my upper limit on her as my back starts to complain after that.

Photo Oct 23, 8 19 01 AM
Specialized Dolce Elite on a Fall morning at the Tidal Basin

I've been stalking the Surly Long Haul Trucker for awhile now. I finally marched into Bicycle Space to see my friend Marko for a test ride.

I was immediately smitten with the comfortable fit and the feel of steel between me and the road. Sometimes you just know.

My Precious
My Precious.
This baby is equipped with everything I need to get me around in style. I finally made the switch from backpack to pannier. I'm getting used to the different gearing. Suddenly no hill seems too steep to climb, and I'm actually enjoying the more leisurely pace of my bike commute.

I'm optimistic that the geometry and fit will keep my back happy on some long rides in the near future. 

And who knows? Maybe one day, I'll use her for her intended purpose: Touring.


  1. Love my LHT. Very versatile for commuting, randonneuring, or just exploring. I've had it for 4 years and 30K miles. Enjoy!

    1. 7,500 miles per year. What a slouch.
      Tip of the helmet to you.

  2. Love her!

    That is such a perfect bike for city, commuting, and leisurely long rides. Enjoy!!

  3. Kir, I am going to bite the bike bullet and buy a cheapo mountain bike for my 5 mile commute to work, now that VA is driving ( yikes!) . I want the MTB option because there are trails to access on my route. Any advice? My Hubz has lots o' ideas but since you are the bike commuting Queen, thought I'd ask you first. And, if you know of any MTB bikes for sale for less than 300 smackers, lemme know!

    1. Sophie,
      That's exciting! I swear there is nothing like a bike commute to make your day.
      I don't have any cheapo bike suggestions, you could get lucky finding one in your size at a bike swap or on Craigslist. If not, you want to spend a little more. The difference between cheap Walmart bikes and mid-priced is huge. The cheaper ones are so bad they're not a good value.
      I'll consult with my #BIKEDC peeps on your best value options.

  4. K, it's a gorgeous bike. You'll love it. The Mule is feeling very uneasy about my renewed bike envy.

  5. Glad that you like your new bike Kirstin. Looking forward to chasing you around the city again real soon. Love, Tbone

  6. Saratoga Springs is very bike-friendly, so I've been riding my own bike quite a bit recently. I had forgotten how it can instantly make you feel like a kid to jump on a bike and ride downtown to get ice cream—whee! And getting a NEW bike? Man, that's like an instant dose of childhood. Happy you got to experience that joy!

  7. Those pannies are so CUTE! Now you just need to cute one of the cute helmets to go with for the ultimate urban commute experience!


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