mike and i had a fabulous weekend and hope you did too! our weather in new hampshire was gorgeous...mostly sunny all weekend and around 80 degrees. my kinda weather!
i had to put in a little work at my part time job on saturday morning, so mike came along to help. after that, we decided to check out a couple of bicycle shops in the area. mike has been longing for a bike for awhile...i want to have one too, but he's way more serious about it. he wants to ride it to work and stuff. i just want one to take a couple rides a week.
for mike, we figured we were looking for an entry level mountain bike that would cost under $500 (including any essentials, like a helmet). for me, we figured i could probably use a bike from a place like k-mart for under $100. (that way, if i find i'm really enjoying my bike, i can sell it or give it away and invest in a more expensive bike then.)
so, to start our adventure, we went to the closest shop first. i will write nothing negative other than it was a huge disappointment. we had a lot of questions about size, style, price, maintenance, etc., and it was probably pretty obvious to the salesperson we weren't going to hop on our bike and go for a hundred mile ride...ever. so with our non-professional-cyclist look paired with our budget needs, our salesman wasn't too interested in actually selling us a bike, so we moved on.
we drove about thirty five minutes to claremont cycle depot. what a pleasure!
upon arriving, despite there being a tent sale going on, we decided to check out the shop first, since we'd never set foot in the store. it's a great shop full of all things bicycle. you name it, they have it!
within minutes a nice young sales guy came to offer us assistance. since getting mike a bike was the top priority, we focused on him. we told the sales guy we were looking for an entry level mountain bike on a budget, but wanted to find out stuff about all the options with shocks and brakes...and eventually, service. he was so eager to help us, we immediately felt so much better about making the trek down to claremont. (i wish i had gotten our sales guy's name...i'll be sure to update you if i get it! but everyone there is so nice, you'd be in good hands with any of their staff!)
since we were budget-minded, our sales guy thought the tent sale would be a great place to start, just to get a feel for options. all the bikes under the tent were used (and actually there on consignment), and they had wicked cheap prices, so it was nice to see what we could get for less money. there was one mike was pretty interested in that was marked $250 and he even rode it around the parking lot...
...but he wanted to try something new as well.
as soon as the new bike came out for mike to ride, i knew we would be taking it home. it was just the look mike wanted: grey and flat black (read: not flashy). it had front shocks, but no disc brakes. and the front wheel came off easily. it was brand new, and as the sales guy told us, with everything we needed (lube and a water bottle holder, plus the initial tune-up once-over) it would be under $450. sounded great. it was under our budget of $500!
well, he did us even better. once he typed the serial number into the computer, he was very pleased to tell us that the price of the bike had been dropped! he said, "well, i have some great news...the owner sometimes changes prices without telling us, and since this model is a 2011, the price is actually $380!" talk about excited! we were so happy to hear about the recent discount and couldn't wait to try to jam the bike in our little honda civic!
it fit! thank goodness for that handy front wheel that comes off with two easy steps!
next stop: lunch. our tummies were growling with hunger! we stopped at a cute little place in claremont (that we've driven by a thousand times, but never stopped) called scoop city grill and i wish i was thinking enough to take pictures because the food was excellent! (my blogger mind must have been suppressed by my hunger!) i had a yummy haddock sandwich and mike had a tasty turkey and bacon panini. we shared french fries which were perfectly crunchy, soft, salty, and delicious! and, of course, we had ice cream for dessert! mike had a shake, vanilla this time, and i had a fancy flavor: salted caramel chocolate pretzel. talk about yummy! it was caramel flavored ice cream with chocolate covered pretzels and a caramel swirl! right up my sweet and salty alley! =)
after lunch we were full, but figured we'd take the opportunity to visit the k-mart in claremont to see their selection of bikes. we found a couple options, but not exactly what we were looking for for me. i definitely wanted a mountain bike, not a more casual-riding one like this:
although that bike is pretty cute! so, i had a few options at k-mart in claremont, but i felt confident that our local k-mart would have my bike.
in my opinion, k-mart is a great place to shop for bikes, if you're looking for something inexpensive or for a beginner (which i consider myself because i haven't been on a bicycle in over half my life!). they have a variety of types of bikes and colors and price ranges. since i consider myself a beginner and want a bike to get back in the swing of biking, i figured for $100 we'd find an adequate bicycle for myself.
back at our local k-mart, we found just what i was hoping for. i simple mountain bike for $89.99. (we also got helmets! safety first!)
here i am with my brandy new shiny bicycle (and helmet):
it's a huffy superia women's bike with 26" wheels. in the photo above i had not adjusted the seat yet, which needed to be done. but i'm a happy camper.
i bet some of you are wondering why i didn't just get a better bike or why mike splurged so much on his. well, i'm just not so sure if my passion for biking will grow, so i didn't want to make a larger investment (than $100) with the possibility of not really using my bike as much as i thought. i figure that if i do fall in love with biking than the $90 investment in this bike will be well worth it and i can upgrade. since mike is planning to use his bike to commute to work in addition to casual rides with me, and he had saved his pennies to spend around $500 on a bike, so we were prepared for that investment.
does that make sense? i know you get what you pay for, so i definitely bought and paid for a significantly cheaper bike than mike, but the thought of spending $400 on a bike that i may or may not use or like didn't sit well with me. i'm just happier spending less now to keep our options open in the future. (besides, i'm a learned frugalista, so i don't like spending more than i need to, especially on larger ticket items.)
for now, i feel like a little kid
in a candy store without training wheels. getting the seat adjusted properly was most of the battle, but i'm also afraid of cars, so until i feel a little more acclimated with my new bike, i'll stick to my own driveway or the rail trail, which i have yet to visit, but very much look forward to. a nice, quiet ride without the danger of vehicles sounds like a fun bike ride to me.
so, long story short, if you're in the market for a nice bicycle and you're from around here, i highly recommend claremont cycle depot. and while you're in claremont, nh, check out scoop city grill - you won't be disappointed!
what did you do over the long weekend? any cycle shopping? or shopping of any other kind?