Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, www.FitFathers.com

So, we’re in the thick of summer’s heat, and biking has taken precedence over the typical calendar of events. How so, you ask? Due to COVID-19, air travel was reduced dramatically, which shifted many people’s focus back on riding. This renewed interest is the reason why stocks are depleted or low until the fall. Hopefully, you were able to score one or had a chance to reinvigorate your cycle with fresh lubrication and tuning of the brakes, wheels, and cables.

I grew up on two-wheels dating back to my BMX days as a youth in the gritty streets of Camden, NJ. Every kid had a bike, allowing us to traverse from neighborhood to neighborhood until sunset. Some like myself could clear fences from makeshift ramps and wheelie city blocks for as long as traffic allowed. Those were some joyous days. Today, I rekindle some of those memories on my mountain bike. MTBing wooded trails for hours at a time bring back euphoria reminiscent of the 80s. However, recently I wanted to change course and hit the streets and the asphalt trail systems that typically connect various parks and townships. Additionally, many of my good friends and business colleagues congregate for weekend biker boy meetups on road bikes. Therefore, I began looking relentlessly for a hybrid in Large for roughly $800.

The research left me debating between the Specialized Sirrus 3.0 for $900 and Trek’s FX 3 Disc for $800. A hybrid bike can be considered a fitness bike as it provides mountain bike comfort and road bike confidence while featuring straight handlebars as opposed to drop bars you find on the faster road bikes. I tried this route a few years ago but wasn’t a fan of the continuous crouching tiger position. You can also take a hybrid on gravel if you outfit it with the appropriate rubber tread. Both the Trek and Specialized brands produce some of the finest bikes in the world from off-roaders to electric bikes. I was in good hands either way.  However, both were drained of inventory both online and instore, leaving me a bit dismayed.

For reference, additional cycling manufacturers to become familiar with include Bianchi, Cannondale, Yeti Cycles, Kona, Santa Cruz, Cervelo, Salsa, and Scott, to name a few.

I called around incessantly until my very last outreach led me to Patapsco Bicycle in Maple Lawn, MD. Miraculously, the retailer had just one Satin Flake Silver/Black Reflective carbon Sirrus 4.0 in my size (large) on the show floor. I didn’t expect to pay $1,300, albeit I had no other recourse. But now I am pleased by the level of sophistication and technology of the Sirrus 4.0 lightweight cycle. Dubbed, Silver Shadow, my Sirrus is engineered with reliable hydraulic disc brakes, a through-axle hub connection, and wide-range 2×9 Shimano Sora Road components with microSHIFT.

Nonetheless, I was disappointed in the cheap plastic Specialized pedals that squeaked on downstrokes for this price point. I upgraded immediately to Shimano PD-M8140 Deore XT flat pedals. All-in-all, the bike is blazing fast and corners impeccably.

Accessories to outfit your ride should include a seat pack for an extra innertube and wrench storage, bottle cage, mini air pump, and a smartphone handlebar mount for following your maps and music if you choose. For yourself, think about padded biker shorts, lightweight open-finger gloves, and of course, a helmet. For $275, I selected the advanced S-Works Evade lid with an integrated ANGi crash sensor. Hey, I don’t mind paying extra for safety measurements. The aerodynamic and properly ventilated protection encompasses “win tunnel” development, 4th dimension cooling, Aramid-Reinforced skeleton, soft and lightweight 4X DryLite webbing, and a magnetic buckle system. With the heavier, prior helmet, my neck would begin to stiffen on longer rides. Well, that problem has been alleviated. Additionally, users of this product receive a lifetime subscription to the Specialized Ride app.

My rides have been meditative and energetic thus far. On weekends I rise at 5 am, drink organic herbal tea, and then load the truck with Silver Shadow to meet my bredrens for 7 am naturalistic rides along Sligo Creek Trail. Interestingly enough, one of our Fit Fathers had just picked up a Specialized Diverge in the same grey hue, and my dad scooped up a used 2018 Sirrus model, similarly in grey. We typically ride 20 to 30 miles while chatting about health, lifestyle habits, veganism, and the joy of riding. Exercise is fun and engaging when you partner up with individuals with like interests. You also tend to hold one another accountable. Our goal is to establish the sessions as an indefinite weekend meetup until the end of the season.

Hopefully, you will find a bike before summer’s end, or continue enjoying your current cycle while reaping the fitness benefits and spiritual freedom.  Keep riding people. One Love!

View our latest virtual ride on Relive –https://www.relive.cc/view/vRO7dyJ5By6

Additional Riding Resources:

Bike Stands: https://www.feedbacksports.com/

Bike Helmets: https://www.rei.com/c/bike-helmets

Bike 101 & Reviews: https://bikesmarts.com