Our Gal Cassie, who keeps track of inventory at the South shop, writes her first entry for this... thing. -- ed.

Hello friends! New voice here, coming at ya from the inventory desk at Pedal in Portage. I am rather new to Pedal and, you could say, to the cycling community in general. Not to say I am new to riding bikes.

Growing up in rural America, I had my trusty Magna, procured from the local(ish) Walmart. I crashed it into a lot of things and rode it all over the county. It followed me from Illinois to Michigan and then to WMU, where I met people who were members of the cycling community. I went through all the steps of coming to terms with their feedback. Primarily the fact that this bike I had loved for so long was most definitely the wrong size for me, too heavy, and unsafe as it was impossible to repair. I remember that back then It was extremely dangerous to be on the road since the traffic light system was not the best, but now a days everything has gotten better and being on road has become a lot more safe.

As a strapped-for-cash young adult, my new friends assisted this desperate newbie in making something work. We found a sparkly, baby blue Bianchi frame that is about as old as I am and threw some basic parts on it. As low tech as that bike is, it opened my eyes to what a bike could be. I rode more. Way more. I thought to myself: “if I can get comfortable and fast on this bike, then maybe I can buy a fancier bike to compliment my skills”.

Then Pedal changed everything.

You don’t get comfortable on a bike. A bike is comfortable for you. You don’t have to be a pro to deserve a fancy bike. A fancy bike will support you in developing good cycling skills and allow you to ride however you choose. If you enjoy cycling, it is worth every penny and second of your time finding the right bike for you. That is how I found my Dolce Comp Evo.

Is it the fastest, lightest bike on the market? No. It is, however, an adventure bike for the ages. The aluminum frame is sturdy and light. Its carbon fork and seat post compliment the lightness of the frame while absorbing the majority of the bumps on the road. Unlike other women’s road bikes on the market, the frame allows for a wider tire. I am not a speed demon, so I prefer a more stable, wider tire. I also enjoy gravel road riding, so the sturdier the tread, the better. The Women’s Specific Endurance geometry fits me like a glove and has made all the difference in my comfort while riding. I believe my husband would quote me by saying, “I feel like I’m riding a cloud!” I continue to work on my technical lingo, so I will attempt to tell you how much I appreciate a quality groupset like Shimano 105 and the stopping power of hydraulic disc brakes. If I do decide to pick up my pace, it will be with confidence and ease.

These days I can crank out a longer ride without depleting my mood. A new saddle and a wheel upgrade may be in my future someday soon. The miles will tell. If your miles also take you onto the less traveled roadways of our great state, you might consider taking her out for a spin. Like all ladies, she does best when she speaks for herself.

Monkeys on Typewriters

Each month we go to the zoo and hand out typewriters to monkeys. After a few days, we collect their thoughts and format them into an email newsletter suitable for framing or birdcage lining. Sound good? Enter your email below and check it out.

Note: we will never ever ever ever share your email. Ever. No monkey will contact you directly.