Enough of this Coronavirus talk. Today, I want to talk about my happy thought, the birthday present I gave myself this year.
I’m talking about a Diamondback, Hardtail Mountain Bike, complete with aluminum frame, 27.5 inch wheels and disk brakes, all new features for me.
I have a long history with mountain bikes, starting at age nine when I removed the rear fender from my Western Flyer, making it a prototype of things to come. In the 80s, still before there were many mountain bikes, I owned a Schwinn Mesa Runner, its knobby wheels and straight handle bars a foretaste of what was to come (still no front shocks or really wide tires).
In 1999, I bought my first real mountain bike, a Bianchi Lynx at a pawn shop in Amarillo. It still had no shocks, but after a few years of bumpy rides, I had a pair installed on the front. In 20 years, I’m guessing I put well over 40,000 miles on that bike. And I discovered the pleasure of rails-to-trails—old railroad right-of-ways where the crossties have been removed and a more bike-friendly path created (most are still too rough for road bikes).
Anyway, in recent years, there has been an explosion of new rails-to-trails around the U.S. I don’t know if I’ll put 40K on this bike, but I intend to give it a try.
So, weather permitting, every day I’m out on the I-27 service road, enjoying the outdoors and conditioning for those rides to come.
And, if you have a good rails-to-trails near you, please let me know about it. Maybe you can join me.