I am a retired professional cyclist, and have had many, many custom bikes from various companies I received for free. Since now I am a recreational cyclist with very few ties in the industry that I am willing to hit up for product, I try to get what I can from individuals and local shops.
When my boat was lost off the coast of California this Winter, my bike and everything I own was lost also. I had a really nice LeMond Poprad set up with v brakes and XTR wheelset I built. So for about a month I was not living on a bike, I was using crutches and dragging myself around Santa Barbara as best I could, using the bus system a lot.
My most recent ride is an 80’s girls Miyata 10 speed with priest style bars. It takes a lot of ballz and no lack of self esteem to ride around town on this thing. People look at me like a freak on wheels sometimes, and the bike snob lycra crowd simply laughs and feels sorry for me. But people, especially women, in stores or on the street are constantly telling me how sweet a bike I have. Bent forks and all. So I guess it is all relative.
I just completed the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride Golden State CHallenge. We rode in Santa Barbara, Santa MOnica, and San DIego. WHat a blast riding with these vets, they are a true inspiration! SOme of the WWP employees have nice bikes. 10K nice. Plastic (carbon fibre) lightweight, flexy and fragile. My bike was free and only cost around $80 new. They laughed at my bike and offered to let me ride some aluminum framed Trek thing but I told them my bike was better, and besides it is the motor not the bike that counts.
BETTER TO BE THE FASTEST RIDER ON A CRAPPY BIKE THAN THE SLOWEST RIDER ON THE BEST BIKE!
The old adage, “It is the rider not the bike” is true and has been proven time and again. The last Soldier Ride confirmed this fact, I had an embarassingly old and crappy bike but was easily able to ride circles around guys on their fancy race bikes and skinny tires.
Did I mention I am a leg amputee and only have a right leg, and that I was riding some crappy toe-clip that barely worked? Well, I am and was , and still was the strongest rider there, again proving the bike is not as important as the motor.