This is my bike:
Just another banged-up hybrid, eh? It’s a Devinci Rio, from 2002 or so. I got it at Bike Doctor in Vancouver. Rode it only casually, mostly on the seawall, once or twice to Granville, now and again to work.
On the move to Gabriola, one of its wheels got dinged a bit, and not knowing much about bikes, all I knew was that the ride had suddenly gotten just awful, but not why. I thought it was the front wheel, so ordered a new one, but that wasn’t it. Then lent it to a friend (I did warn her!) and she got a buddy of hers to true up the rear, and that sorted it. Eventually after I stopped smoking she let me have it back, and on a whim I rode it to the store and back, and that’s when I remembered just how much I enjoy riding.
I still ended up getting a new rear wheel, it wouldn't stay true, though I did get some practise with a spoke wrench meanwhile. A pair of pliers is not and never will be a spoke wrench, is something else I learned. And to remove as soon as possible any addition to brakes labelled “power modulator”. If I grab two fistfuls of brake, what I want is for the bike to stop. If I then flip head over heels over the handlebars, that’s on me. Do not fuck with the stopping power!
It’s not exactly light: 27 pounds or so, more when I tack on my rack pack. This is something I notice when I take it onto the Wilkinson trail, the one that heads off South Rd, and has everything except fire nettles and a dragon choking its entry. It is easier to carry the bike across the ditch and over the berm and then over the giant roots of a gazillion trees all knotting up one teeny patch of trailhead than it is to try to ride it, and also my upper body gets a bit of workout.
It’s not a big bike, by any stretch. I don't know how to measure trail and am much too lazy to look it up right now, but my guess is, this bike does not have a lot of that. People I lend it to complain of ‘toe-clipping’ from the front wheel. I have not noticed that particularly, but then I pedal with my feet well back. There is not a whole lot of room between the handlebars and the saddle. It rides a bit stiff—no suspension—I especially notice those patches laid down by Emcon’s apprentice road crews.
Aside from both wheels, I have replaced or upgraded the grips (twice), a couple of baskets, two, possibly three racks, saddle & post… there’s an eternal flow of lights, I still haven't found headlamps that will give sufficient light. Though I hear Hub City in Nanaimo has a possible contender in stock. And of course brake pads. But not the chain or sprockets: I did a clean-up yesterday afternoon, and they still look good, so okay.
The shifters are these twisty things that no one ever says anything about unless they hate them. I don’t mind them; I’m used to them, is what that boils down to. But I did pull off the indicator dials: they stood up like little bug eyes and were forever in the way, so I finally took an axe to them last summer and made marks on the side with a sharpie to show what gear was where.
I ride to the store, to get my hair cut, to the farmer’s market, to the trails and on the trails. Working up to riding from one end of the island to the other, and back. Someday I will get a pretty bike, light as air and just right in all directions. Until then I’ve got this one. I probably always will.