I have been searching for a bike since I finished grad school and moved back to VA. I left my hand-me-down bike in California, PA, so when I moved down to the Lynchburg area for my new job, I HAD to have a bike ASAP. As I've still been searching for the perfect bike at the lowest price and best deal.... a year and half later... I've still been looking.
My search started at the local bike shop. In the Fall of 2011, I even made a list of my "dream bike," but by the spring I had come to my senses and deleted the list. I knew I had to keep my bike ownership expectations to the reality of craigslist. I was not going to be picky about color. I was not going to dream about disc brakes. I was not going to even care about year or specific model.
Here was my craigslist criteria: Less than $350, women's size, mountain or hybrid style, no flat tires, no bent wheels, no worn down chains or gears, and overall it had to be a well kept bike. This is actually still demanding list... hints why over a year later I was still looking for a bike.
In the process of scouting out craigslist ads (of all major VA areas and other cities where I have friends living), I realized that if I got a bike, I would also want Ryan to have a bike so someone would ride around with me.
A weekend earlier in December, I took Ryan to test ride an orange 2009 trek mountain bike I found on craigslist. The bike owner was really nice; he wanted someone to have his bike and enjoy it as much as he had. He told us about trails in the area should try, etc, etc. However, when Ryan test rode it on a college campus with lots of hills... the chain popped off. Ugh.
We decided to stop by the local bike shop (the same one that I originally went by when I first moved back to VA) to see the costs of fixing said craigslist bike. Low and behold, we found an awesome, green, XL 2012 Trek mountain bike 3700 with disc brakes... on sale for $150 off. It didn't take much convincing to scratch the craigslist idea all together. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to Ryan, from me!
Through the local bike shop, I ordered a green, 2012, medium sized, Trek mountain bike 3500 with disc brakes, at a negotiated sale price! Exactly what I wanted. Happy Birthday to me! Today, I brought home my green Trek gem and rode it up and down my street with Wrigley chasing me. I can't wait to go biking around with Ryan, lots of possibilities lie ahead!