No bikes to two bikes in less than one month

Joe Grubbs - Raleigh, NC

No bikes to two bikes in less than one month

I've been an avid runner for years. I found that running helped relieve stress as it gave me time to live in my head, collect my thoughts, sort things out, etc. I also enjoyed the fitness aspect of it. I competed in races, joined run clubs, met a ton of really incredible people that have become good friends.

I became perhaps a bit obsessed with running and especially the fitness aspect of it. I also do strength training at the gym several times a week, and I reached a point where I'd run to the gym instead of riding the motorcycle or driving the car. Direct shot, it's only a 2.5 mile round trip.

I started pushing my distance--I'd take a longer and longer route to the gym, eventually culminating into a 5.5 mile round trip. All that cardio, plus more and strength training at the gym; I know it sounds crazy, and it probably is.

I did this through the 2014 winter, and admittedly I did what many people end up doing--I overtrained. My knee started hurting, my mile/minute increased quite a bit, I pulled something in my leg, and I developed this weird swelling in my ankles.

Enough is enough. I stopped running and decided to do something that had been in the back of my mind for a while; I decided to buy a bicycle and use it to both get my cardio workout and save my joints. Plus I figure it trains a different set of leg muscles, which I probably need.

I'm big into brand loyalty; My cars and motorcycles have all been Hondas. My first car however was an old hand-me-down Peugeot. Peugeot hasn't sold a new bike in this country for quite a while, but still I knew that if I was going to buy first bicycle as an adult, it would be a Peugeot. 

For everyday use I thought a mountain bike would be the best choice. More upright seating and bars, and I could use it for errands, trips to the gym, or to go visit friends that live nearby. 

I looked and looked locally and in nearby cities and found nothing. There are many Peugeot road bikes out there, but the mountain bikes were hard to come by. I even considered getting one from a seller on eBay despite the shipping cost.

Finally, one appeared on Craigslist that was a 20 minute drive away. I contacted the seller and headed that way. It was in amazing condition, not a scratch or dent anywhere. I bought it at his very low price right on the spot. A bit of research revealed it to be a 1984 Canyon Express. It was all original except for the tires.

I got it tuned up, threw on some new tires and a chain, and have been riding it ever since. It is such a joy--it's lightweight and the perfect size. Thanks to the extended winter, I've only been able to truly enjoy it for the last few weeks, but so far it has been so much fun. My whole body feels better! Not only that, I've already met several people who share this interest, and that has enriched the experience that much more.

A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon a naked Peugeot road bike frame for cheap. It's one of their very lightweight ones, but it was in beautiful condition. I snatched it up and decided I'd build it up. I used to be an auto tech, so I have tools and mechanical know-how. It has been a learning experience though! I've been taking my time collecting parts and installing them along the way. The bike is near completion and I can't wait to ride it!

I'm sharing a photo I took of my Peugeot parked at Target for a little shopping trip. 

I hope you enjoyed my story and that at least a few others can relate. I look forward to many years with two-wheelers that -don't- run on gasoline (though I'll still enjoy that kind as well!)

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