Breaking Out the Mountain Bike

The other morning, my road bike was out of commission. I had taken off its handlebars in anticipation of replacing them with a different pair. As the previous post mentioned, that didn’t happen. And when Pat suggested we get out for a short morning ride, I thought I’d have to decline. Then I remembered the mountain bike.

Why would I forget I have a mountain bike? Because this is the way it spends its time.

It’s not exactly at top of mind. But I did remember it, and realized it would be an excellent way to ride with Pat, and stick close to her. Usually when we ride together, I’ll get way ahead, and stop and wait for her.

So we rode. The fat knobby tires and the squishy front suspension really slowed me down from my usual speed. Several times, Pat pulled ahead of me and stayed there for awhile. Because she had to take a work-related call, we couldn’t ride long. But we did 40 minutes on a favorite neighborhood route, and I got a nice reintroduction to the bike. It has some possibilities.

The first thing that came to mind was that I have to get serious about using it for an errand bike. I’ve run errands on it from time to time, like going out to our community mailbox to pick up our mail. But the supermarket is only a mile from the house, and I should be taking the bike. It’ll just be for the small, occasional items we always seem to need, like milk, bread and cookies.

The second thing to come to mind was modifying the bike. Those knobby tires suck on pavement. I’m going to have to get some narrower, slick tires. Then a rear rack of some kind — and maybe a milk crate to mount on top of the rack to carry larger bags of groceries.

The third thing was — this bike needs help. It will be a great opportunity  for me to develop my repair skills without messing with the road bike.  The mountain bike won’t shift out of the middle ring, and only has use of five cogs there. So over the next few weeks, as the spirit moves me, I’ll be getting some derailleur adjustment time in.

And back when Pat gave me the bike as a birthday present, I never bothered to get a fitting. Time to fiddle with the seat height and fore-and-aft position.

Hey, this ought to be fun. It’s almost just like getting a new bike.


  1. says

    Wow, spider bikes 😉 Seriously, I have to ride my mountain bike as that is currently all i have. I planned on getting a road bike as well but funds ran out (groceries I think – two growing boys.) My plan is similar though once I have a second machine: use the mountain bike, which isn’t exactly top quality, to learn mechanic skills

  2. Ramonh says

    For getting slicks tires for your mountain bike, I have had good experiences with Specialized Armadillo tires.

  3. Torsten Weirich says

    If you get bike rack, take a look at one that will fit paniers (saddlebags for your bike). For heavy groceries, it’ll be easier to ride if they are at a lower center of gravity. My $.02

  4. says

    I know this is a old post but, did you ever end up getting different tires on your mountain bike? My mountain bike is my only bike right now, and I have been mainly riding on the road. I want to start riding with the local road cycling club, so I found some tires that are closer to a road tire. Serfas drifters, is what I put on, but I only had few choices since my bike is a 29er.

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