The Verve

Sep 4, 2019
The 2018 Trek Verve 3 hybrid bicycle.
As some of you know, or as many of you don't, I quit using tobacco a few years ago.  After 10 years of smoking that transitioned into another 8 years of chewing tobacco, I finally quit.  It took a while, it definitely took more than one attempt, but when the time was right I let go of the snuff in my lower lip.  Not that chewing tobacco was any better than smoking, it's pretty disgusting actually, it's just that when you decide to stop using tobacco, in my case at least, you also have to decide how much weight you're going to gain.  If you're one of the lucky few that have quit using tobacco and didn't gain any weight, then this doesn't apply to you.  If you're on the fence with quitting, you'll have to make up your mind on how much time it will take to work off the extra weight and if that effort outweighs the health consequences of using tobacco in the first place.

Anyways, in the years after 2013 when I quit chewing, I ballooned up to just an inch over 230lbs, which is a lot for me.  And after a few years of walking and hiking to work off the weight, decided to get into bicycling again, just for the extra cardio burn.  Well, I, like a lot of people, decided to start out cheap on a big-box department store bike just to see if I'd ride it in the first place.  What a mistake that was.  Not only are the bikes at the department store cheap, but they are also cheaply made.  They are heavy, poorly constructed and usually equipped with substandard componentry.  They do have two wheels though and move in a straight line, and the faster you move the pedals, the faster they go.  So after a few seasons of not riding my big-box department store bike, I received a hand-me-down garage sale bike from a family member.

After just a few weeks of riding a 20-year-old trail bike, did I decide that a new bike was for me.  This was two seasons ago, and it didn't take long for me to want a new one.  Hence, the Trek Verve 3.  Now the Verve 3 has been a fine bike.  There's nothing wrong with it.  It's well-built with modest componentry and I hit a milestone with the most money that I've ever put into a bicycle at nearly $700.  Well, it was on sale over at Ernie's Bike Shop for $620-ish, which I know isn't a lot for a bike, but it was a lot for me, so it was sort of a big deal.  I hadn't spent money on myself for years, so it was a nice reward after quitting tobacco and a comfortable ride over the hand-me-down and department store bikes.  Now, two years after the Verve, I'd ready for a new one.  This time I can't decide between a full-blown mountain bike, with specifications that range from entry-level, to very well-equipped, or a nicely upgraded trail bike that's better well-equipped to handle the local Towpath trail and city terrains, than it is for serious mountain biking.  The reality is that I'm looking at two different bikes, each with a different reason.

And I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a ton of YouTube bicycle channels.  A few months back, when I got into the Rad vibe, from the 1986 movie and cult classic, I decided to track down a few freestyle channels, just for old school's sake.  And for those of you wondering, the mid-80s were a wonderful delight for a midwest boy from Ohio.  If it wasn't skateboarding, it was freestylin', and while I excelled at neither I decided to pick up, and learn how to ride, a unicycle to help fulfill this lifelong dream.  It's been a few weeks since I've been on the one-wheeled wonder, although this is one part of deciding to become a better bicycler.  When I was young, I was a poser, a wannabe — someone that's pretending to be something they're not.  Now that I'm older, I realize that learning how to bicycle takes work.  And dedication.  And the willingness to fall over and over again.  I look at Seth, over at Seth's Bike Hacks, and he just tumbles.  Over and over again, and he just gets right back up.  And then there's Alexander, aka Jesus on Wheels, over at the Singletrack Sampler, and, he too, has an impressive channel and skills to showcase.  I'd like to invite these two up to Ray's Indoor Bike Park, up in Cleveland, while also showcasing Ohio's mountain bike trails, although I happen to know of none.  They just seem like affable guys, guys you'd have a beer with, and two good people that seem to know their way around YouTube.

There’s also the fact that they have sponsored channels.  I was surprised to see this at first, but since their channels have hundreds of thousands, and millions of subscribers, it easy to see how a major bike manufacturer would sponsor a YouTube channel.  Maybe with a little bit of luck, and a lot of editing, I could turn this otherwise blasé blog into a stunner with millions of subscribers and Trek as a sponsor.  Actually, speaking of that, this blog leaves a lot to be desired and earlier this week I let go of where this is and decided to hash out a new design.  It's almost complete and with a little bit of elbow grease will have a new site up in no time.  And as much as I like to publish incomplete content, and leave the audience wondering what the heck he is doing, I'm committed to finishing this project from start to finish.  I had an honest conversation with myself and decided that I wouldn’t book with me if I had come across this site.  It’s a good start and it’s been helpful to have something to work from, but its aesthetics don’t cut it.  So, there you go. . . .

And if you are looking for a review of big-box bicycles, be sure to check out KevCentral’s channel.  He does a fantastic job of reviewing the latest and greatest from your favorite major retailer and is hilarious to boot.

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