expensive rides

Today was an expensive day.

It started off with a trip to the car dealer. My car was due for its 60k service. Sixty thousand miles. Gosh that’s a lot of miles for a three year old car. But I knew when I bought the car that I would be using it a lot. I knew that owning this Subaru meant that I would be the one driving everywhere. Whether it’s ski trips or bike trips or camping trips into the mountains, I knew that my car, with its symmetric all wheel drive and bike racks and ski rack and cargo rack would be the one getting us there. I knew it would be expensive, but it’s been worth it. I appreciate all the fun times I’ve had with friends because of the car, and I’m especially appreciate those friends who always pitch in for gas. But yea, it’s painful to my wallet. By the time I rolled out of the dealer’s lot, I was $1100 dollars poorer.

Afterwards I went to the bike shop to pick up my wheel. If you remember from last week, my front wheel was missing a spoke, so I had dropped it off at the bike shop for repairs. When I went in to pick up my bike, I saw my dream bike on sale. So after spending $1100 to keep my car maintained, for an encore I spent $1100 on my dream bike.

Well it wasn’t my absolute dream bike, but it was pretty close. For over a year now, I’ve been looking for a replacement for my trusty green Bianchi. It’s actually really hard to find a bike that’s better all around. The Bianchi’s steel frame and rear rack dropouts make it sturdy enough and useful for light touring, but its fast enough to handle century rides. I was actually considering buying two bikes to replace my Bianchi. I needed a bike with both front and rear rack mounts to carry my camping gear, food and clothes for an upcoming week long bicycle trip. Usually only touring bikes have the front rack mount, and they’re too heavy and slow for century rides. On the other hand I wanted a bike that’s faster and lighter for the long century rides I do every year. (And possibly even double century rides if I’m ambitious…) So I was looking at spending maybe $300 to $400 to buy a used old touring bike for my overnight camping rides and maybe up to $1000 for an upgraded road bike (but hopefully a lot less.) It sounds like a lot of money, but I have a lot of friends who have really nice $800 or $900 bikes that sit in the garage gathering dust. During the almost four years that I’ve owned my Bianchi, I’ve racked up almost 4 thousand miles on it. So considering how much I ride, I figured it was worth the investment to buy a couple of decent bikes.

I never expected that I’d be able to find a bike that would be both a better touring bike and century bike. But the Specialized Tricross that I bought comes really close. It has both front and rear rack mounts, so I’d be able to use it for bike camping trips. It’s built sturdy since it’s a cyclocross bike, which are usually built tougher to handle off road riding. But at the same time it’s lighter than my old steel Bianchi, since it’s made of aluminum and has a carbon fiber fork. It’s a little more upright than my Bianchi, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing in that it’s a little more comfortable for long rides, but it will slow me down a bit, especially in headwinds. I’m hoping if I tweak the handlebar height and stem angle I can find a good balance.

I was incredibly lucky to find this bike. 2009 was the last year that Specialized made the Tricross bike with front rack mounts. This was the absolute last 2009 bike that the store had, amazingly it was in my size, and it was heavily discounted, selling for $999 discounted from $1450. As soon as I saw it, I whipped out my credit card and bought the bike. After adding tax and the repair cost for my wheel (the $20 repair job that I originally went in for) the total came to just about $1100.

So yea. Today was an expensive day. I ended up $2200 poorer. But hopefully it’s a worthwhile investment.

Things I’m thankful for:

  • Good times with friends on my bike or in my car
  • Friends who chip in for gas
  • Credit cards and a job that pays the bills on those credit cards

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