Sunday, January 16, 2011


In 1991, Valerie and I were living in Pataskala, Ohio, just outside of Columbus.  I had been mountain biking, for a while, at this point, but I was still riding a low-end Motiv from Sam's Club.  It was a heavy, mild-steel frame with mid-range SunTour parts on it, but I have to admit that it was still pretty fun to ride.  It was, after all, the bike on which I fell in love with mountain biking.

At that time, I had a 1985 Honda VF1000R, which was the street-legal version of Honda's 24-Hour endurance racing bikes.  It had a full fairing, the first factory spec radial tire on a production motorbike, and it would do about 160 mph.  The problem with that bike was that it was so adept at going fast, that you never felt that you were, indeed, going very fast, at all.  After numerous occasions of casually riding along, looking down at the speedometer only to see that I was going well in excess of 120 mph, and worrying that I was going to either a. lose my license, b. kill myself, or c. kill someone else, I decided to sell the bike and get something a little less extreme.

So, I went out and found a Yamaha XS-650 twin, for $500.00 and bought it.  Then, I sold the Honda, subtracted the cost of the Yamaha out of the proceeds, and split the remainder with Val.  I told her to buy herself something that she had been wanting but didn't have $1000.00 to pay for it, and I headed for the local Cannondale dealer (Campus Cyclery, in Columbus).

There, I bought a Cannondale SM700, Beast of The East, for $700.00, plus tax.  A few accessories and articles of clothing, bought at various shops over the following few days took care of the remainder of my half of the Honda money.

Many people who knew me, at that time, were a bit shocked that I had passed along the big, shiny, fast Honda in order to get a nicer mountain bike.  But, that was where my priorities lay.

It turned out to be a good course of action.  The Cannondale led me to become much more serious about bicycling.  I got in better shape, and my skills improved immensely (which, considering how wanting they were when I moved to Colorado, simply speaks of how bad I was at mountain-biking, at that time).

The Yamaha served me well, for over ten years, and did everything I needed a motorcycle to do, during that time.

So, overall, I think that I, for once, had my priorites straight when I struck the deal that allowed me to buy the Cannondale.


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