Friday, August 19, 2005

Christmas (Eve) In August

To my friends and family that (for some reason) faithfully read my blog, what I'm about to write comes as no shock, but I have never celebrated my own Christmas. Sure I've partaken in a few enjoyable Christmases (just what is the plural of the holiday anyway?), but I never had the experience that is Christmas Eve when you know you're getting the gift you asked for, the next morning since I'm usually doing my secular duty at the local Chinese restaurant. Don't worry, I'm aware of the night before the whole eight crazy night thing, but last I checked, Channukah Harry or Ch-arry (ya know, with that whole clearing your throat sound) does not have chimney descension as part of his story, but that's another blog entry for January 1st (yep, it does run that late this year, but we get all the after-Christmas sales to enforce some great stereotypes).

Christmas eve, I mean Channukah eve, I mean Kwanzaa eve, I mean the end of Ramdan Eve, or whatever you want to call the night before you get a gift, is occurring right here in my Montgomery County cove. After much too much research and expert testimony/cross-examination, I am finally purchasing a new mountain bike. As with any expensive purchase of mine, I researched, or what the kidz call googled, my way to a boatload of bike websites, message boards, and propaganda, only this time I got more confused as I went along.

Instead of closing in on a model, I only found more options and things to consider. While it's good to broaden the prospects at the start, at some point you want to close-in on a final decision. Doing lots of research must be proportional to the amount of money being spent. For example, before I settled on my new car, I researched lots of models and as I got closer to deciding on the winner, I simply increased my research (reading about 15 reviews along the way). Low and behold, my car has been a great purchase that hasn't caused me any grief outside of the dealership's communication incompetence (something I should have researched of course).

Anyway, considering I will ride on roads about 85% of the time, I don't need a full suspension bike, nor do I need to worry too much about a weak front fork or a derailleur that can take a beating or the feedback I get when making a 5-foot jump. At first I was going for an entry level bike around $300, but after talking to the master bike technician at a local outdoors store, it was clear that despite my limited experience, even I would benefit from the next step up in quality. So I've decided to go with a model in the $350 to (gulp) $500 range. The good news it's down to either the REI house model Novara in this range or a Trek 4500 or even 4300 if necessary. I wish I had one model in mind, but at this point, it all comes down to which gives me the most comfortable ride for my body's ever-changing shape. Mountain bike review sites like are helpful, but they're usually hardcore riders who quickly beat the snot out of these low-level bikes for their high-level needs.

So that's the long version of why I'm excited tonight. Just like my new car, I will baby this bike to make sure it lasts a long time. Now all I have to do after the minor detail of purchasing it is think of its nickname like I did for my car...time for some more research.

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