Monday, May 12, 2014

Call me Imelda...

Well, no I do not have a shoe fetish.  I swear.  But as a family, we do have a couple  bikes...14 currently, if you count the two old frames we took home with us, when DH's mom passed away.  Fourteen.  One trike, two mountain bikes, one recumbent tandem, two kids mountain bikes, three kids road bikes, two recumbent road bikes, two frames, and DH's commuter road bike.

But, I hear you say, what do 5 people need with 14 bikes? might get worse before it gets better, if that makes sense!  We both want to get the new SchlitterBikes Encore...Serious bike lust here!

Our Giros each weigh in the neighborhood of 40 pounds each, curb-weight.  Add 140oz water (typical summer load out of water on bike) and you are adding over 8 pounds more weight to an already heavy system.  My Giro, with a slightly different setup than DH's, likely weighs 50 pounds with all the water onboard.  That's a lot of weight, especially when you consider the current generation of traditional frame carbon wonder bikes are clocking in at less than 15 pounds curb-weight!  Now you begin to see why we might be looking at new bikes.  The Schlitter Encore is 22 pounds curb-weight.  Yeah.  Half what mine weighs, without water!  Plus a better parts-spec.

So we have been thinking of cleaning house, so to speak, and selling off some of the bikes.  First to go would be the two kids mountain bikes, and the two adult mountain bikes.  Next on the chopping block will be the pair of Giros, though those will not be sold probably until after we get the Encore bikes, because I will have only one bike at that point that I ride, so at least one Encore will have to be here to replace my bike before I sell the Giro or I will have nothing to ride.  Last but not least on the chopping block is the trike.  Because we were able to fix DH's balance issues, the trike has sort of just become the world's most expensive dog exercising machine.  I like it, I still think there are trikes in our future, but at this point it probably needs to go.  It would just about pay in full for a complete Encore.
The heart of the issue really is our shared love of cycling.  DH and I met in a bike shop.  I was working a second job there part time, in order to fund my cycling habit.  DH was a sales rep for a major bike company.  One of our goals is to share this love of cycling with our children.  Those horizons are just beginning to open up for them.

This weekend marked the first family road ride for us.  Previously the kids had been on mountain bikes, and DFW is notoriously free of mountains.  Plus they are not designed for long distance riding, of the type we hope to do as a family.   The geometry is all wrong.  So over time, we acquired a set of smaller road bikes for the kids, something they could grow with for a couple years, perhaps until their final height is reached.

It's hard, as a parent, knowing you have to teach your kids how to ride with traffic, to behave like a car (though slower), to be predictable--wanting to keep them safe and protected, yet knowing you cannot protect them from everything.  That you have to let them grow.  We want to share our love of the outdoors, the open road... and we know too well the risks of distracted texting drivers, plus the simply rude and occasionally aggressive ones.  And none of this even begins to touch on the other risks in today's world...with today's predators...

Our ride yesterday afternoon wasn't long, even for the kids.  Only around 9 miles total.  But it involved hills, real roads, and most importantly, strong winds.  What we lack in vertical challenges in DFW, we more than make up for with wind.  Of the two, I much prefer hills to wind.  Hills are a finite challenge...the wind never stops! 
The kids did well yesterday.  There was no complaining, and no crashes either.  The children pushed themselves more than we expected.  DH was pleased.  That meant a lot.  The two of us joked in private later, that we would soon have our work cut out for us, trying to keep up with the kids!
But that's ok, I can live with being old and slow, if it means my kids are loving cycling.


  1. I think it's wonderful you're teaching the kids to enjoy cycling. Plus, it's something you can enjoy together as a family. That is very precious.
    Y'all seem to have a bicycle "fetish" like we do with motorcycles! I have been known to own more than two at one time myself. It's our passion. We used to also enjoy bicycles but Hubby's knees are disabled after working so hard for the phone company so many years. We have to stick with motors and easy on the knees things now. His wrists are kinda giving out now so it may be a sports car next. It's the need for speed I'm sure you can understand! *smile*
    Hope y'all have fun and enjoy the warm weather. ~:)

  2. Wow! You have bikes like I have garden tools!!! Good luck with the sale...:)JP

  3. Sparky-- so your hubby was in telco? So's mine! At least mine isn't climbing poles any more, so maybe his knees will last.

    AQC--yeah, we have couple bikes, eh? They're sort of like books--but don't store as easily. (we also have a lot of books!)

  4. @MW ~ Get outta town! *giggle* Yeah, Hubby had 41 years and he was forced into retirement because of bad health caused from working for the phone company. Even though he loved his work, he's not bitter for having to leave. We where kinda ready for it. He's a great guy with a wonderful, Christian attitude. He started with AT&T in 1966, which became Southern Bell, which became BellSouth, and now it's back to AT&T again. It's been one heck of a ride all these years. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. ~:)

  5. I should have Old and Slow tattooed across my forehead. At least we're still in the game, swinging for the fences!

  6. I think it's great you've got a bunch of's not alcohol, drugs, gambling or a host of other ills. it's BIKES and you use them to have FUN with your family...VERY NICELY DONE.
    now go get some more...LOL

  7. For a girl who said she didn't know anything about parenting, you're doing a pretty good job! Hope you all have a ton of fun.


I blog for myself, my family and friends, and of course the Hounds! I love to read your comments, and I always read them all.

But if you are here just to shill your own product, or are a spammer, don't waste your time or mine.