That’s quoting my friend Roland Tanglao, who is about as big a bike devotee as they get.
I’ve changed my life for good and for ill on a bike, and I’m a warning story to anyone who looks at a bike, goes “Ooh, pretty” and buys it without knowing shit. That’s what I did last time, and I’m a victim of back problems as a result.
Recently, I sold my bike after taking the advice of my brilliant massage therapist/Ironman athlete, and visited Fort Street Cycle, who claim to be one of the only shops on Vancouver Island who offer bike fittings on a stationary bike designed to allow for precision fits for bikes and riders, as you see pictured below. My massage guy raved about how Fort Street outfitted his wife on a low-end commuter bike with the same amount of attention they spent on him buying a very expensive high-performance road bike.
After a half-hour of fitting and chatting about my lifestyle, my body issues, and my goals, the team at Fort Street decided a Dutch-influenced upright bike would be perfect for me. After taking their recommended style to both my physiotherapist and chiropractor, my body pros raved about the benefits the suggested bike would offer my gimpy body. I went ahead and bought this year’s model Giant Cypress DX W.
What made it so right for me, according to my docs? The suspension at the front and on the seat post, the step-through frame, the raised handle bars, the wide comfort saddle, and the giant tires with 24 speeds, would all make cycling easy for my frame. My chiropractor in fact said that cycling as a rule tends to be terrible for posture, and he wishes more people would adopt the style of ride I’ve now got.
So, after too many years spent riding the wrong style of bike, and endless damage to my back, yesterday was my first day of exploring.
The upright style offers a drastic difference from my first 30 years of cycling, riding road and mountain bikes, hunched over and hinged from the hip. It’s a shock to my messed-up neck and shoulders, and a surprise to my gimpy back.
It was a rough ride because getting the posture right is such a departure from anything I’ve known before. That’s part of the journey, I’m told. Luckily, I had checked in with my chiro, who had me sit on a bench and then he adjusted my back and shoulder posture to reflect what I should be sitting like on the bike. Midway through my ride, I started tucking my elbows into my sides, sitting up straighter, dropping my shoulders, and my pain started to subside.
After the ride, though, was where I really noticed the difference. It felt like my core had gotten a workout, and my shoulders stayed back, and I walked straighter than I’ve ever walked after a day of cycling.
The guys at Fort have been very patient from my first fitting to my purchase 5 weeks later, and I’ll be letting you know how I grow into this new role of touring cyclist.
And I should mention I paif for the bike at sticker price. No blogger perks here, my friend. Just quality service to some chick off the street who wanted to buy a bike. I’d recommend Fort Street for their service, for sure.