The workhorse is my old Specialized Hard Rock. I think I bought this bike in 1996 as it has an A1 cyclery sticker on it from the west side of Indianapolis. I’m pretty sure I was living on the west side in 1996. I know I had just moved to Indianapolis from Cincinnati to start my first real job after graduation. I know I was still driving that god awful 1988 Mercury Cougar that I bought from my parents. This poor bike has no suspension because that was only on those super expensive mountain bikes at the time (how times have changed!). It was just an entry level mountain bike that had what you needed and nothing more. This seems to still be true because I still use it almost exactly as it was with very few problems; most of the problems have been brought on by me and time. I think the center pull brakes and grip shifters were the s**t then so it was considered a little tricked out because it had those 2 things. I’m not sure what possessed me to pack it for the move to Italy. There wasn’t much chance that I was going to use it because I feared Italian drivers like you wouldn’t believe back then. Since I started riding it again lately on long rides I’m finding that it has weathered time but needs some real tender love care to be a reliable bike. I’m no bike mechanic so it should be interesting to see what happens when I try to fix it. I’m an Engineer so it’s in my blood to think that I can fix it. When things go wrong I’ll just take it to the store. Absolute Bikes has already replaced the right side grip shifter as it was completely shot when I start riding it again. I took the original kick stand off and threw it away long ago thinking it added too much weight. Now I’ve added a crappy Italian one that barely keeps the bike standing. The most recent addition is panniers and rear rack from Topeak that I bought back in the States. I think I’m going to really like this combination. I like to carry a lot of stuff and this bag will let me do that and leave my back free of the sweaty backpack come summer.
So that’s an introduction to my old bike. Next time my new bike.