Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Ride

I guess since my first post was a bit about me, it would only make sense on a bicycle blog that post number two should be about the bicycle.
My bike is a 2012 Trek Allant, from their "Urban Utility" line. I just want to say from the outset that I freaking love this bike!!! See, until November, I had been riding my old Tommaso Capri road bike for most of my bike trips. I bought that bike to train and race in triathlons back in college. Admittedly, the bike has seen better days. The chain was rusty and had started skipping some in the middle chainring. I knew there was no way that bike was going to get me through the winter.
I was working at the bike shop by then and started squirreling away my little paychecks from that gig. I also had the chance to daydream about the "perfect bike" to get me through the winter and beyond. My requirements were simple and practical. While I knew I didn't want a standard road bike, I did not want to sacrifice speed too much. three times a week, my commute is six and a half hilly miles each way. however, the rest of my trips tend to be between one-half to two miles. So I really wanted a quick but practical and comfortable bike. I did my homework, read a bunch of reviews and really honed in on the things that mattered most for me: fenders, a must; a rear rack, for carrying my stuff; upright riding position, for comfort; and good looks, because that's important, right? Well, it turns out A LOT of bikes fit that description. I allowed myself to fantasize about owning a beautiful Rivendell Yves Gomez or a Surly Crosscheck or even a Salsa Casseroll. But I knew good and well those guys were far out of my budget. I started talking to my bike shop owner, Joe, about what I was looking for, as we sometimes get good-looking used bikes in the shop. He then introduced me to the Trek employee discount program. As a Trek dealer, employees get a sweet deal on new bikes. I guess Trek wants us riding Treks. Makes sense to me. So now my search had a bit of focus. I poured over the Trek catalog and website to find the right bike for my needs. No surprise, many Trek bikes were pretty good matches. I really liked the Hybrid line, as I used to own a 7200 that I just loved, but it was removed from my possession by some unsavory fellow, never to be seen again. So I considered an upgraded Hybrid 7300 or 7500 for a while. I also liked the BelleVille, but the gearing was limited. The PDX caught my eye, until I realized it was single-speed. The Atwood was another interesting option, but the reviews were not great for that one.
Then there's the Allant. In Dark Charcoal. With color-match fenders and rear rack included. Gently swept-back handlebars and upright riding position. I knew this bike would be my next bike. I talked to Joe about the bike and he too liked the style and practicality of the Allant.
As soon as I had enough saved up, I ordered my Allant through the employee purchase program. The very next day, I got the call that it had arrived at the bike shop. I headed over and built it up right away, rode it home that day, leaving my old bike at the shop. From the first ride home, I have been thrilled with this bike. It did take some time to get used to the more upright riding position, but now, three months in, it feels perfectly normal.
I'm sure I'll include a more detailed review of the Allant in a future post. Don't worry about my old Tommaso, it's been put to good use since I acquired the Trek. I've loaned it to my rommie's b/f so he can commute from time to time.
I should probably start taking some pictures of my bike too. The photo above is from the web.

I'll see you out there.

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