july of 2010 i did something that i never thought i would have done, i bought a bicycle. at the time, only a few of my friends had bikes, and the main reason i sought out this bike was to help support my purple smoothie habit. see i would walk 5 blocks to the produce market, then walk back with 30lbs of produce. i hated that walk, thus i made less purple smoothies. a bike with a basket would solve this issue so that's when i started shopping.
a few of my friends already had bikes, so i'd accompany them on rides once in a while. i rode to the gym (vs driving there) and realized that i got there in just as much time or less, and got front row parking all the time. i'd ride to bars at night, or restaurants to meet friends. there were no worries about parking, driving after drinking, or traffic.
slowly more of my friends began buying bikes, and eventually even my girlfriend bought a bike. weekends were slowly turning into excuses to get bikers together to ride. neighborhoods notorious for horrible parking were suddenly very accessible.
i found that i was riding much more than 1/week to the produce store located 5 blocks away. and during this riding i started noticing the limitations of my $35 bike. i took it to a shop, where an honest bike tech told me that i'd be throwing money away trying to get my current bike up to par, i mine as well start with something better. "your bike is basically a disposable bike" -honest tech
so i decided it was time to get a new bike.
i found a sexy 2002 bianchi pista.
it is basically everything that my old bike was not. this one is a single speed with a fixed gear, my old bike is a 10 speed. riding a fixed gear bike is a very different experience than riding a bike that has a freewheel. the first and most noticeable thing is the inability to coast on a fixed gear bike. having one of each now makes me appreciate both.
this bike is lightweight and agile. the tires are rated for 120psi, whereas my old bike's tires are rated at 65psi, almost double! the weight difference alone makes a huge difference in riding, especially up those infamous san francisco hills.
this bike frame is unlike my old bike frame, it is not a disposable bike. the frame is built to industry standards (it's also much newer as my old bike is from 1987) so swapping parts is easy.
having a new bike, and being already well versed in the sf bike routes has given me the ability to go on fun rides right out the gate. the day after i bought the bike i rode across town simply to buy a burrito, then rode back home to eat it. it was about 10 miles round trip, which is ironic since there are about 10 taquerias within a 5 block radius of my house, but i enjoyed every minute.