Why don’t you just sell your bike?
That’s not a loaded question or anything.
I had talked about buying a bike for months. My friends were sick of it. Just buy something already! Get out and ride with us! I’d received notification that I was going to be laid off within the year and it had already been six months. The end was truly near.
I needed something to burn off anxiety. I needed something to go out with my kids. I needed a bike.
I decided to head up to the local bike superstore. I had purchased a Specialized mountain-bike-y hybrid in 2005 but never rode it and had just handed it down to my oldest child as a birthday present (my mom got it tuned up and changed out the seat). I didn’t want to make the same mistake – buy an expensive bike and then never ride it.
Yes. $300 was expensive for me back then.
I slowly walked up each row, pretending I knew what I was looking for. I didn’t want to go the mountain-bike route – getting a mountain-y hybrid clearly didn’t work out. I looked at the flat-bar fitness hybrids – I liked the balance of road and hybrid – but they were almost a thousand dollars. I did not want to make an even more expensive mistake. I looked at the road bikes and just couldn’t swallow the idea of spending $1,500 minimum. So I found the small selection, causally tucked away, of comfort hybrids. The sales guy listened to what I said I was looking for (“…comfortable, easy, riding on the path with my kids…”) and said they would be the best for my needs.
A week later, I took delivery on my new comfort hybrid. I was happy. I rounded up my kids and we rode to the fro-yo shop and back.
The rest is well-known: I started riding by myself on the path. I started riding farther and tried desperately to ride faster. I wanted to keep up with the kids on the road bikes. I wanted it to not suck so bad going up hills. I pushed and pushed and pushed.
I have a job and a bonus. I go out and make a total Fred move: I get a full carbon bike complete with shoes and pedals and everything. I can’t stop smiling. I love this bike. LOVE it. She rides like a dream, once I haul my ass into a clinic for beginners. I’m going faster and farther and loving it.
This is where I started to love cycling.
Comfort Hybrid gets relegated to gravel or cinder paths – which are ridden less and less. I put a rack and fenders on her so I can bike commute. She kicks my ass every time. I’m so sore and tired when I get home – it’s hard to feel motivated to ride to work because I know the ride home will suck. And she’s not fast. We joke on the commutes that she’s our Green Light Good Luck Charm because we always make the green light. I believe it’s because she knows I don’t love her and it trying to make up for it. Prove she has worth.
I pick up a late-80s road machine and begin overhauling and adding to make her my commuter. I love her so much. She rides differently than my Nice Road Bike. She’s steel and even on my 25s, I don’t mind gravel paths. But I love riding her so much. I can’t stop smiling.
Which brings us back to the original line – Why don’t you just sell your bike?
My husband will tell you I have too many bikes. And while I totally disagree, he has a point. One bike stands out, lonely and a pariah among loved machines. One bike that simply isn’t meant for the abuse I put her through. One bike that gets no love.
So after much agonizing (she’s a decent bike! I can take her on the trails with the kids! What would I replace her with?) I’ve decided it’s time to sell her. I’m still conflicted – she’s transported me over 1,000 miles (over 1,600km) in the past two years. She’s reliable. She’s stable. She’s comfortable.
But I never think “Man, I need to ride my hybrid today.” And I’m sure someone out there is looking for a stable, reliable, comfortable ride and doesn’t want to pay retail. She was $500 new; I’m asking $300 obo for the bike with fenders, a rack, water bottle cage and bell.
I’ve only listed her with my bike club for personal reasons. She may or may not sell, given the small audience. And if she doesn’t, I’ll still take her out sometimes.
But every bike deserves to be loved. I hope I can help someone else love to ride.
* * * * *
Hello friends – I am selling my black 2011 Specialized Crossroads Sport comfort hybrid, size Small. She comes with fenders, a rack, water bottle cage, and bell. Featuring an upright riding position, wide comfortable seat, front suspension (can be locked out), and plenty of gears (triple in front, 7-speed in the back) for any kind of terrain. The 700×38 tires roll over just about anything, ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride. Platform pedals. Excellent for running errands around town or noodling on multi-use paths. $300 obo. Photos available upon request!