I had an AWESOME day. Like one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. One of my FAVORITE parts of today was that Craig was off work the whole day for the first time in a LONG time and well WE GOT BIKES!
Craig and I have been debating and back and forth on buying new bikes for literally years. We’ve gotten them priced out, rented them, found garage sale cheapo bikes and were gonna fix them up and yadda yadda. Well we’ve been putting enough miles on our cheapo bikes and Gannon is big enough to ride in the bike trailer this summer that we splurged.
We messaged the owner of the shop last night and because we were experienced (ha) bike shoppers (and not bike buyers) we knew how to speak bike. We told him that Craig needed a bike a little closer to a mountain bike than a cruiser and I needed a bike a little closer to a cruiser than a mountain bike. We were mostly interested in riding paved trails, streets, or sidewalks. Craig needed to be able to take his on a dirt trail if need be. We didn’t want to spend more than $1,000 total for both bikes (but I figured we would go over that) but still wanted quality bikes. I knew I needed a large frame and Craig needed an XL frame.
We hired a baby sitter (thanks Kara!), the store was about 20 minutes ish away, walked into the store (I had never been in) and he had two picked out for us already. BAM! We test drove them and fell in love. There really is a difference in buying/riding quality bikes after you’ve only ever ridden department store bikes. We didn’t even try out any other bikes – his guess was dead on. There was a little tune up and we were off!
He says he can’t keep enough bikes in the store right now. Across the country people are buying bikes like hot cakes because it is something people can do as a family without exposing themselves to the virus. He said bike sales are up 500% in the month of April and he won’t get more bikes to sell until June/July because of the high demand! He also accepts used bikes so we will be turning our old ones in to help keep up with the demand! We bought them at Pedal and Play Sports in New Hampton Iowa. He also respected our budget and came in well under the $1,000 which was appreciated.
Carver has gotten really good at riding his bike. Gannon rides in the bike trailer but the belts literally ripped off so Craig figured out how to replace the seat belts.
We took the bikes for a spin on the trails in Decorah today. Decorah is about 30 minutes from our house and has a 13 mile paved bike trail all around the town. The ride was great and not so great. First of all, we started on the part of the trail that literally goes straight up hill pulling two kids and Carver’s bike strapped on the back of the bike trailer: YIKES! Plus the trail was super busy.
Here’s what we would have done differently:
#1 – We were the ONLY ones without helmets – DUH KALISSA! WE need to get bike helmets. Carver has one but Craig and I don’t.
#2 – Carver rode his bike for some of the way and rode in the bike trailer some of the way. We would have either decided for Carver to ride the entire time in the bike trailer and choose a harder path and not haul his bike OR decided for Carver to ride his bike all the way and choose a straighter easier path. It was a lot of on and off and strapping the bike and unstrapping the bike.
#3 – We need to get to know the trails better and find a better place to start than straight up hill literally the first time on the trail.
#4 – Always bring tools! We had to stop at another bike shop along the trail to buy a tool to adjust my seat which will now always stay in my bike pack.
Other than that it was an AWESOME part of my day and we are already scoping out what trail to hit up tomorrow! If you have Strava (a fitness tracking app) feel free to follow me @kalissageorgia to keep up on our biking adventures!
If you want to read about my SURPRISE birthday party, check out my mom’s blog: https://www.joscountryjunction.com/kalissas-birthday/#more-53900
Or check out some recent posts:
Happy trails ahead! That’s a great family activity!
Sounds like you’ll be having some bike fun. Do get yourself a helmet!! And have tools to change a flat! always have a spare tire tube! Most of all. Have fun!!
This bike riding and walking with your mom will help you build a habit. Congrats. There are tons of great bike trails with almost no grade. Congrats on your bike guy. He was respectful of your budget. What and excellent adventure you are on.
Try the Prairie Farmer trail out of Calmar . It is paved and flat and is usually not a busy trail. It goes from Calmar to Ridgeway to Cresco.
Yes, on bike helmets!!!!!!! That’s my husband’s crusade for parents to model to their children how important it is to always wear a bike helmet. It’s like buckling up the seatbelt.
Definitely get bike helmets! And the Calmar trail sounds perfect for your family. Fairly flat! Not crowded. We like it a lot. You tackled the hardest trail around for your first outing!