So I’ve been starting to think about getting out and riding again. It’s not that I haven’t been riding, it’s just that I haven’t rode a 1 hp bike in quite awhile. I’m talking about a bicycle, 1 hp = human-powered. The only bike I’ve been riding lately, is my 1300 horsepower Yamaha FJR.
I’ve been researching bikes online and I’ve test rode a few at some local bike shops. I’ve got a 17 year-old Univega rigid steel mountain bike that I inherited from my Dad. It’s not in great shape because I haven’t rode it in years nor have I ever really done anything to maintain it. I could probably fix it or have it tuned-up and ride it again but I’m interested in getting something new.
I’ve never bought a bike before. Aside from the Univega, the only bikes I’ve ever owned were purchased by my parents when I was a kid. I’ve been thinking about buying a hybrid because I really don’t think I’ll be doing anything too crazy but then again I don’t want to be afraid to jump a curb or ride off the pavement. I grew up riding my bikes anywhere they would take me and I never thought about needing a specific type of bike for the streets versus dirt. Some of my favorite riding as a kid was off the pavement.
Several days ago (9-Feb-2012) I was researching more bikes online, something I’ve spent many hours on now. I saw a post on bikeforums.net about Salsa Fargo which led me to the Salsa website. After checking out all their bikes, I was interested in the Salsa Casseroll based on it’s description as being a relaxed road bike. Searching Google led me to a review of the Casseroll done by Arleigh Jenkins, a.k.a. BikeShopGirl. After reading her review of the Casseroll, I started poking around more on Arleigh’s blog. Arleigh is an advocate for women in cycling but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have great content for boys and girls alike. At the time, the most recent post on Arleigh’s blog was titled, Get a Bike for Free – Ride Your Bike – Report About It. That post title was intriguing considering it started with “Get a Bike for Free”. So, I continued reading and found out that this company called Foundry Cycles was giving away 5 bikes to people who would be willing to spend a year acting as ambassadors for the brand. Foundry wants people to take their bikes, to races, local events, bike shops, coffee shops, etc. Basically, they want you to talk to people about their bikes. I think this would be a really great way to get a bike, and more importantly commit to riding.
This led me to start researching Foundry Cycles. I’m cautious about things I read on the Internet and I’d never even heard of Foundry Cycles. I started by checking out their website and when I exhausted all the links there, I checked out everything they had on Facebook. I quickly figured out that Foundry was a new brand from Quality Bicycle Products or QBP. So that let me to the QBP website where I investigated the parent company further. I wasn’t familiar with QBP but I was familiar with a couple of their other bands – Salsa and Surly. I also found some information about the Foundry lineup at MTBR, in their coverage of Interbike 2011.
That was about it, I went back to my research on hybrid bikes and didn’t give Foundry much more thought. Then a couple days ago, I mentioned the Foundry Tradesmen program to my wife. She’s probably sick of hearing me talk about bikes by now but thankfully, she still listens to me ramble on. Later, I mentioned the program to a few friends and received some encouragement to give it a try. I’ve got an idea for a video that I can submit as my entry so I’m going to start working on that.
I don’t have any idea what will happen but, even if I don’t get selected, it will still be fun to create the video. I work supporting technology and I’ve started to specialize in video editing and broadcasting. The problem is, while I recommend equipment, configure computers, setup cameras, and other studio gear, I don’t really ever get to create any of my own content. The last time I created something in the video medium was 1995.
So I’ve decided to give this a try. I hope Foundry Cycles will like my video and people will vote for me because I think I’m a good candidate and because I think it would be a great way to spend a year reintroducing myself to bicycling.