Real Bikes for Real People; Daved Benefield - How long has it been?
Wow, how long had it been since I jumped on a bicycle and actually rode? I know bicycles, I was the kid who had a shiny, metallic red, sparkling Schwinn, with the white banana seat, and don’t forget the 5 speed gear shifter that could have belonged in a Camaro. Child safety “HAH” the gear shifter was carefully positioned in the middle of the top bar. The shifter was just waiting for an ill advised Evel Knieviel mishap in a backyard to ruin my then unused, young manhood. Luckily “Rose” was stolen before that could happen.
Next I moved to an exotic Torker, that’s right I went BMX like everyone else in southern California and my Sundays were spent racing BMX. Again another theft robbed me from becoming like total pro BMX racer dude. This time the theft coincided with my first growth spurt. In retrospect I was fully starting to look like a dark brown Ichabod Crane with my knees hitting the Redline “v” bars while experimenting with my prehistoric X-games ramp, and cave painting like tricks in the backyard. Of course I was going helmetless, with the ramp precariously positioned next to the prickly pear Cactus. Go big or get stuck. One day in an instant at 7/11 while watching my friend warp on Defender 2, my bike was gone.
I thought it was over for bicycles. I was now 6’4 and lanky. The next bikes were a slew of non-descript, garage sale Japanese “10” speeds. Later during the San Francisco 49ers camp, I was given for camp use a hotshot mountain bike. While playing with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, I owned a beach cruiser, my mental escape to roll around Regina commuting to practice, and to stay in shape. Then one November day the dream was over.
So who am I? I’m you. We were there when a dirt jump over a hedge wasn’t dug up and molded it was just there, thanks to city workers who hadn’t a clue that they were leaving such a great gift for the neighborhood. We pushed Varsity’s to extremes, we broke 50 lb prehistoric shocked Huffy’s, we took bicycles into the woods and down mountain fire, and horse trails sometimes only armed with a coaster brake. If we were lucky we had hand brakes with actual pads named Kool Stops that were like15 bucks.
I am you, the guy now who needs to get into shape. I got rug rats hanging off every word, wife checking my availability, and I would love better cardio and occasionally would love a carefree moment to escape.
The idea of being stuck on a stationary bike for prolonged periods of time even with a parade full of lulu, and TnA cannot fill in for that pure excitement felt by a 14 year old boy while flying down a steep hill without a care in the world.
I needed an intervention. I needed to take a step, I need a bicycle, the nights of abusing my body with 3.25% homogenized milk and chocolate chip -cookies had taken their toll. I was on the clock to get into shape.
I looked around at my ride choices. I was not going to go “fixie”, too many hills, and my name isn’t Adrian.
I wasn’t going full crazy mountain bike down hill trick racer dude. Nope all those shocks and funky frames look like the futuristic stuff we would get crammed into lockers for drawing during drafting class back in the day, and I no longer wear pads not now, maybe later.
I wasn’t going lost tribe of the Tour De France. You know who I’m talking about, the Carbon fiber, Skunkworks, exotic, bionic composites guy. Nope not only would that be an expensive coat hanger in the garage, but the thought of theft would send me into a Samuel Jackson “Time to Kill” rage that would be unsafe for the captured thief. Also looking at my body type it was no longer Triathlon type slender. My body had morphed into 255lbs of something we in football used to call, “skinny bad body.” My muscles are now soft curves, the six pack now shot, although I know at 255lbs of still quick twitch muscle fiber I could still hurt a poor exotic.
No, I was now clueless. I figured I needed to get an idea, I needed to try a bunch of bikes to figure out which way I am going to go.
So I contacted Vancouver’s Brodie Bikes and Ryan Yip.
Any homer knows you got to try to keep it local and I like to keep it in the community. Brodie bikes is Vancouver, the showroom is even close to my house. So instantly it was a fit. I went through the website to see what they were working with and I had choices. So for the next while I will be road testing Brodie bikes for the real guy, the guy who wants to get into shape, but has the joints that have taken more punishment then we could have ever given to concrete, or dirt, but I always found time to give to a Stamp, or Eskimo.
This is my rode test this is my blog