Finding a bike was a challenge. After a couple of rides on rentals and deciding that I did actually want to pursue this sport, it was time to find a bike of my own. Naturally, I had a brief flirtation with brand new, shiny bikes. I would look at them online and in stores in all their $5000 glory. Then when I would take them for a short test ride around the block I realized I had absolutely no idea what to look for. The advice I was given was that when you got on the right bike it’ll just “feel right.” Considering I basically hadn’t ridden anything since I was in elementary school, I could barely remember what a bike is supposed to feel like at all, let alone the specifics of geometry.
Then came more questions: hard tail or full suspension? Downhill? Enduro? XC? What are you planning on doing on it? Apparently “ummmm….. ride on trails and stuff?” wasn’t specific enough. Once realizing just how much of an amateur I was and that I really didn’t know what I liked and didn’t like in a bike it was clearly unwise to sink months of salary into it.
I won’t get into the details of my lovely and helpful boyfriend (at the time, just a friend) scouring the PinkBike listings for ages and sending me anything remotely good. I will note that at a towering 5’1″ it was difficult to find something in my size and that felt okay. But then one day, the perfect listing came along.
Enter: the 2010(?) Transition Bottlerocket. Sure it was just a frame with no wheels or grips or a chain. She was a little beaten and bruised around the edges but she was beautiful and the price was definitely right. After borrowing some wheels from a friend and a test ride, I was in love. Pictures were taken and shared on Facebook like I had just given birth or adopted a puppy. Even though I didn’t have the money for parts yet and couldn’t ride it, I still had her sitting there in the living room making me smile.
Slowly, the pieces fell into place. I got used wheels, a cassette, some grips as a souvenir from a shop in Melbourne, Australia. I learned as I went, asking a million questions, taking everything apart to clean and put back together. I would point at random parts and ask “what’s this called?”, “what’s this?”, “how would I take that off?” Even when no one was physically around to help I took pictures.
I got to know my bike inside and out and, because I am a massive dork, I named her too.
So without further ado…. Meet Jenny 5.