Have you ever been the new kid in school? Or started a new job, or even a new role in the same company you’ve work in for a while? If you do, you know what I mean when I say its hard to be the new kid in town. You have to make new friends, prove yourself to the old timers, and work toward being accepted.
As the established person, we’ve all been faced with that new person sitting next to you, having to help them out, figuring out whether they can deliver as well as the previous person who had that role. It can be tough on both sides.
But eventually, both the new and old get to the point of acceptance and knowing they can trust each other. A lot of times it sneaks up on you when this point is hit.
I realized I had hit that point sometime this year just yesterday. But it isn’t about me, it’s about my bike!
Back when 10000 miles was started, I had a Specialized Tri-Cross I had ridden for 6 years.
By July of last year, I was rapidly approaching 13,000 miles. The bike had become an extension of my body. I knew every noise and feel of it. I would shift to the exact gear I needed without thinking, and if the bike shifted or slipped at all, I could compensate and keep the rubber side down. We understood each other.
There were many times, when going up an ugly hill, or fighting a headwind, or nasty weather in general, I would pat the handle bars and say “We got this, we’ve been through hell and back! This aint nuthin!”
Yes, yes, I know, bikes don’t talk. Nor can they hear. Maybe I am just telling myself this. BUT, every time I say it, we make it through!
Well last July, as we know, the bike was stolen.
That was NOT an easy post to write that night. But it was gone. Michelle stepped up and said “We are buying a new one NOW!” And 2 days later I had my new Specialized Tri-Cross
I loved it the first time I rode it! BUT, it was the new kid in town….
It had disc brakes, which can rub and squeak if they are centered correctly. UGH, the old bike never did that, you can be annoying.
Then the first big ride was 3 weeks, later, barely 150 miles under my belt, The Crater Lake Century. HILLS like you would not believe! We climbed every one of them, but in my head I was thinking, “The old bike was a better climber…” Then the rear brakes seized 2 miles from the finish. What the hell! Damn knew bike! I almost had to carry if over the finish line before it released.
But, after that, time marched on. Another century ride, unknown number of bike commutes and training rides, the Chilly Hilly, and suddenly, I have almost 2000 miles on the new kid. We’ve been through freezing cold, monsoon rains, head winds and tail winds.
Suddenly I am shifting without thinking, I can tell when the feel is wrong, and when I dig down deep, and need some speed, it responds whenever I need it. And once again the bike has become an extension of my body. It goes wherever I need it to, shoot at time it seems to float and not even touch the ground, almost as if it anticipates what I will need.
Then yesterday, during the 22 mile ride in the driving rain, it happened. After the turn around, I was going into a headwind, getting hit by some pretty hard rain drops. I patted the handlebars, and said, “We got this! We’ve been through hell and back!” And I had to smile, because I realized that it true! With more to come.
The new kid in town has proven himself to me, and has delivered whenever I’ve asked. Its a good thing too! I’ve scheduled a hard year for us!
And YES I know, bikes can’t hear….