When Steph and I first met, she did not bicycle. I was just getting back in to riding, and I was enjoying it. So one day, after we had talked about riding for a while, and a possible tour, she bought a bike.
We drove over to a big box and got her a Schwinn. Nothing exciting, just a basic bike. I wanted her to just see if she liked to ride. Maybe she would, I thought, or maybe she wouldn’t. I had no idea. It turns out, that was one of the defining moments of our relationship.
She took to bicycling with a vengeance. She rode her big box bike until she had worn the tread off of two sets of tires and it literally fell to pieces. She loved that bike, though, so I kept putting it back together for her. Finally, after I had purchased a new bike, she decided to get a new bike as well.
We walked down to our local bike shop to look and see what they had. I had some recommendations to make as to what kind of bike, but Steph is the queen of internet research and was well prepared. She looked a few over, and test rode a couple. When she came to the Specialized Sirrus, the smiling started. She took it out of the shop for a test ride. She sprinted up Capitol Hill, turned around and blasted back down. I could hear the giggles as she approached. I figured that was it, and it was.
She wound up with a men’s frame. They had asked her if she wanted to ride a women’s, and she expressed her dislike of the color pink. For some non-forward thinking reason, Specialized made the women’s version of this bike only with pink accents that year, so a men’s frame it was. Turin, our local bike shop, had to put on a shorter stem so she got a better fit on the handlebars. And since then, she’s been in love with the thing.
The Sirrus has better gearing and is lighter and more reliable than her old Schwinn was. I’d say her average pace has gone up 3-5 mph, much to the chagrin of my legs and lungs. I work harder on our rides together as a result. It’s not that she’s trying to crush me or drop me. It’s just that she’s very enthusiastic on this bicycle. In fact, she was so jazzed about getting the thing in the first place the whole work staff turned out to watch her glee when she bought it. To this day, when we bomb down a hill, which my greater weight insures I will be faster on, I still hear her behind me going “WHEEEEEEE!” in to the wind. Riding a bicycle has never lost the sheer joy it was for her the first time she did it. She loves this bike.
She’s hung some bottle racks on it, and now it has fenders and a rack for panniers on it. It’s pretty much in shape to tour, even though our tour this year has been cancelled. But it should still be in fine shape once spring comes back around.
A bicycle is one of those few things that can promise to make your life better, and actually deliver on that promise. Steph’s Sirrus is a case in point. It’s pretty light in comparison to most commuter bikes, and the drive train has been bulletproof. It’s a great way to get from point A to point B, or around the neighborhood to the ice cream shop, or to cruise the miles of bike paths. She’s about to start riding it to work each day- 10 miles each way. She’ll be riding hundreds of more miles on this bike, and the smiles wont stop.