Friday, April 17, 2015

I can get 70 miles to the gallon on this.....hog!

For quite a while, I have been thinking about trying to get into better physical shape. While I play sports about once or twice a week, I haven't really been doing any other physical activity aside from work. I find that I really want to feel better and healthier physically and I also want to be able to compete at a higher level in the sports I play. In order to rectify this lack of effort on my part I recently decided that I was going to start biking to work on a regular basis. I figure that it will help me be more healthy, and, as I share a car, it gives me another mode of transportation to tool around the city on.

When I started looking for a bike I really had no idea where to look or what to look for. In fact I started out by looking at used bikes and trying to find something that would be cheap and get me from point A to point B. The more I looked at used bikes, the more I realized that I have pretty much zero knowledge about bikes. I didn't know what size to look for, what brands were good quality or what price point to start at. I decided that I needed some help and I put out the word on twitter and talked to some friends. Ian Brisbin was amazingly helpful and based on his suggestions I headed out to some local bike shops to find myself a sweet ride.

When I started on my epic bike quest I figured that I should be able to get something pretty decent for about $500.00. I visited several local Hamilton bike shops in order to find my bike and I am happy to say that we have a few great bike shops. I really enjoyed my visit to Pieriks Cycle in Westdale and both Central Cycle on King St East and Scattalon Cycle and Sports on Upper Ottawa were informative and helped me narrow down my decision. At the end of the day I decided to buy my bike from Hammer City Cycle on Upper James! They are about a ten minute ride away from my house, they offer three years of bike service with every bike they sell and their customer service was exceptional.

Behind that door is my new bike! 
During my search I found that there are quite a few brands of high quality bikes and that the name on the bike isn't quite as important as to how it feels when you ride it. Most of the bike stores I visited strongly suggested riding the bikes before buying them in order to see if the fit and feel was right. I got the chance to ride and sit on quite a few expensive bicycles, which was pretty awesome! Many of them felt great and were fun to ride but when I rode the Cannondale Bad Boy it was the first bike that just felt right. While the bike was $799.00 and I had wanted to stay closer to my budget, after a lot of pondering and bike comparing I decided to splurge and placed my order! 
Cool bikes, but not as cool as my bike!
I waited for just about a week, hoping everyday that the phone would ring and my bike would be in. Finally I got the call today and after work I rushed over to find this waiting for me. 

Me and my new hog!
I rode it home and covered close to 5 kms in about 10 minutes. It was a smooth, sweet ride and handled the roads with ease. It could be the new purchase love affair, but it was just a fun ride. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can't wait to go riding again. 

The only problem I have now is figuring out a name for my new bike! I really love the matte black colour as I think it makes my bike look sleek and stealthy, and it reminds me of Star Wars. My first thought was to name my bike after the most amazingly badass character of all time, Darth Vader!
Should I call it Vader? Lord Vader? Darth? 
My next thought was that in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader commands a Super-Star Destroyer that is the most powerful star ship aside from the Death Star, serving as a symbol of Imperial might. It also happens to have an wicked name. It is, simply, The Executor. 
It's so big and strong! The EXECUTOR!
Then, being the history nerd that I am, I remembered that King Edward III of England's first son was known as The Black Prince. He was quite the badass historical figure himself as he won both the Battle of Crecy and Poitiers, two pivotal victories during the Hundred Years War. 
I feel that I am leaning towards The Executor, however I am still open to suggestions and nothing has been finalized. Whatever it gets named, I am excited by the prospect of biking around my great city this summer and I can't wait to get started!

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