I’m frequently asked about my bike. Does it have gears? How many? Do you ride on those skinny tires?
Yes, Julie, the name I’ve given my bike, has gears. When I started riding regularly a few years ago, I rode a 1971 Schwinn Hollywood my Dad bought for $15 at a garage sale. While I loved riding Hollywood, I found I couldn’t keep up with John since my vintage bike didn’t have gears. I also had difficulty on even the smallest changes in elevation on Florida trails, so while I kept Hollywood, I bought a 7-speed Boss Cruiser by Jamis.
The Boss Cruiser that I called Cucumber (the bike’s color), served me well for about a year before I gave it to my daughter and purchased the Jamis Hudson, another 7-speed bike with a single hand brake and no skinny tires.
The Hudson is described as a comfort bike, and that it is. Lightweight and designed for flat foot starts and stops makes it easy to ride, and I like the step through feature which eliminates the need to maneuver around the top tube to mount the bike. One strange feature of the bike is its single brake lever that operates both the front and rear brake. This single lever is a safety feature that prevents front brake lock-up but at times I’d prefer to be able to use my left hand to brake so I can use my phone to take a picture. (I probably shouldn’t be taking pictures while riding anyway.)
So, is 7-speeds enough? I think so. I really don’t know what to do with 14 or 21 or 28 gears. I NEVER use first gear. I can’t keep my balance when pedaling that fast while moving so slow, and I ALMOST never use seventh gear. I rely on third through sixth gears so a 7-speed bike seems to meet my needs.
And why do I call my bike Julie? Well, I initiated the Hudson on a ride along Flagler Beach, and billboards lined the road asking,
Do you know Julie?
Where is Julie?
I’ve called my bike Julie ever since, and yes, I know where to find Julie. She’s in the garage.