Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Welcome to the greaseball.

I think I forgot to to tell you that the 80s concert I went to opened with an orchestral version of "Welcome to the Jungle" as its overture, no singers. Toward the end the conductor picked up a wireless mike and hollered "You know where you are? You're in the jungle baby! You're gonna die!" I thought I would never stop laughing.

Annnnnyway, welcome to the greaseball, i.e. me in high biking season. But let me back up: I finally bought a new bike! and rode it home this evening. And my god, y'all, I am NOT used to riding on anything other than a giant, cushy seat. My ass is killing me today, mostly because of all the test rides I did yesterday, but partly from riding home just now. I think I need to tweak where the saddle is for one thing, but for another I just need to get used to riding a bike that doesn't have a bunch of big, jiggly, squeaky shocks.

I think I spent an hour and a half riding Giants and Jamisssessss and Masis yesterday, from the heavier upright commuters to the lift-with-one-finger aggressive speedsters (which were super fun). I rode the Civia Loring, which I actually didn't dig riding at all, though aesthetically it is mighty fine. At the end of my bike shop sojourn I spotted one Civia Hyland which was marked down, I think because it was from 2009 or so, took it out, and decided to drop my money on it. It looks like this:

I'd been eyeing up the Civia bikes online for awhile. I love that it's a local company that names its bikes after local neighborhoods/parks, dig the overall aesthetic, and because I am not at this point a gearhead (and don't anticipate becoming one) I love all the high end components and style elements that are just standard on the bikes (yes including the pretty pretty matching fenders and chainguard). The frame has channels in it that route and conceal all the cables; there's a generator powered headlight; there's an internal 8 speed hub. I took the long way home and went around the lake, where the redwing blackbirds and frogs were singing up a storm, and put the bike through its paces, and I love the way this thing shifts. It is smoove.

There was only one frame size available (52 cm) and I did switch out the stem for a longer one to get a more comfortable ride position. Apart from that, I'm going to ride it for awhile until I figure out what else might need to be changed. I'm just glad to be back in the saddle again, even if it kind of hurts right now.


  1. Sweetest ride! It looks great and I hope it serves you well.

    I am literally laughing here at home, imagining this awesome '80s spectacle you described. We never get awesome spectacles like that. Maybe I'll wait to see what this year's county fair offers. (likely: Mountain, Shania Twain.)

  2. Perrrrrty. Congrats on the new baby.

  3. Robert may want to discuss this bike with you. Or maybe take it for a spin!

  4. Really love your title and the Welcome to the Jungle story. Hilarious.

    I'm of the belief that it's 100% OK to get the softest, squishiest seat on the market. My bike's seat isn't very squishy, though, so I haven't actually done that upgrade, but I got used to it.

    I'm excited for you and your new bike. I am not up on the brands or anything but I had a lot of fun a few summers ago test riding a bunch in New Orleans. I ended up with a fat-tired baby blue Giant, which was perfect for NOLA's potholes but just kind of sits around in Tennessee.

  5. Awesome choice! Alan has a Loring and a Bryant and loves them both.
    I highly recommend switching out the saddle. My experience it that the stock saddles on most bikes SUCK. I've had good luck with the Terry Butterfly saddles, a little pricey, but you'll have it a long time and, c'mon, it's your ass we're talkin' about here, give it some respect! ;)

  6. Alan's Civia reviews were a giant help to my thinking over these last many months of not. quite. buying. a. bike. That's the second rec for a Terry saddle that I've gotten today, so I'll definitely check them out. The one that came with the bike is a Fizik Aliante, so a good saddle but maybe not the right one for my parts...

  7. I would go for a special lady seat, better designed for female bottoms.

  8. Woohoo!! Congrats on the new ride! Your ass will feel better once you get used to the new bike, but you are smart to consider position of the seat. I look forward to some summer riding photos!