An aside: oddly, when people see you riding a lot, hear you talking about biking and see more than one bike a piece they tend to think that you know something about bikes and bicycling in general. I help when I can and I'm a vocal proponent of whatever I believe in and I'm sure me darlin' Mrs can back me on that. Actually, she'd call me a F*(%in' Know-it-all. But enough about me...
I've said to people that a good used bike is money better spent than buying some new cruddy piece of pig iron from MegaMaxiMart. They asked if I had any bikes I would sell. Since I try not to invest too much emotional capital into any one bike (unlike others, *cough* Pete *cough* Mark *cough* Ken *cough*), I would happily part with the Expedition Elite and the Sirrus. One for him and one for her -- $400 bucks for the pair, plus cheap tune-ups.
That makes room for bigger and better things: a brand spankin' new Surly Long Haul Trucker for the darlin' Mrs. A week and a half ago, we were talking about our summer vacation plans and the ride that we're planning would be really painful, slow and silent if she was going to ride distance on her Crossroads. As a commuting bike, it's marvelous, but the upright position and the aluminum frame would tire her out. I knew that she would be miserable, and she finally relented to my demands that we look at a better bike for long distance. So off to see that tasty piece of ass, Jim at HCHQ. Using all of his masculine charm (hell, even I felt a tingle), he convinced Mrs. Yam to test ride the LHT. When she returned, there was a smile on her face that said "This is the bike for me." The deal was consumated (ahem) and now she's got a good bike.
One thing the general populace doesn't realize is that there is a difference between bikes. The difference between a $200 bike and $500 bike is noticeable and the difference between a $500 bike and one that costs $1000 is even more substantial. I would like to think that in a future where gasoline costs more than $5/gal, people would take biking seriously and quality bikes are no longer thought of as weekend toys but as viable transportation options and are treated with the same care and reverence that we now treat our automobiles.
Of course monkeys could fly out of my ass and bring me beer too. Actually, this seems more likely. If folks would just realize that they don't ride their crappy bikes because they're crappy bikes and there is no joy pushing a crappy bike around and rode something that didn't suck, and rode something that we (the people of the biking community) take for granted, I imagine that there would be more riders. [If I had an editor, I would probably be caned for that last sentence]
Anyway, we're equipped now for our road trip, we just need to get some miles under our saddles in preparation for our journey. We're going to Grand Rapids, MN to a cabin on a lake for a couple of days in the beginning of July. Hopefully no more than two, as I'm not a waterskier, fisherperson and I don't really like Michelob Golden Draft Light and fried fish. We'll make our way east to Duluth and then south either by MN Hwy 23 or through Wisconsin. Don't know yet and we'll probably figure it out the day we start home.