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The Bicycle That Made Me a Bike-Lover Again


When I was a kid, I loved riding my bike. With friends or by myself, even just pedaling around my neighborhood gave me a feeling of independence, freedom and fun. The air rushing past you … all of the sounds … and just the in-the-moment thrill of doing nothing but playing. I’d time how fast it took me to get from one block to the next or I’d pretend that I was a car and had to obey imaginary stop lights or I’d — shhh, don’t tell my mom — practice my balancing skills by seeing how long I could go without holding on to the handlebars.

Yeah, I have some pretty great bicycle memories.

So, why have I not been on a bike (outside of a group cycling class and this experience) since 2003?

Um. Good question.

I’d guess that it’s for a variety of reasons. First, my 2003 bike is heavy, clunky and — I know this is just my vanity holding me back but — kinda ugly. It’s also really only suited to gravel trails, so it doesn’t have a lot of versatility. Second, cycling is intense. The people I know who do it have super crazy high-end bikes, jerseys and quads that can pedal for days. Then there’s me. I don’t now how to “clip in,” cars freak me out and pedaling hard is not my strong suit. Third, bikes are expensive. Like, the people I know who have bikes spend $1,000+ on them, easy.

But, really, the biggest reason is that I’m intimidated. By the whole damn thing.

That was until this gem — the Zissou by Solé Bicycles — entered into my life. (Which means they sent me the bike.) Is there anything intimidating about her? No, just pure biking beauty.

First, she’s gorgeous. (Obviously — those colors. SO FUN.) Second, she’s light, coming in at 26 pounds, and made of hi-tensile steel and alloy. Third, she’s just the right mix of fun and functional. She can be ridden as a single-speed commuter bicycle or as a fixed-gear bicycle for a faster, more advanced ride. (Guess which version I’m going with? Fun!) Finally, she’s affordable at $399 and comes 90 percent fully assembled with a frame that’s guaranteed for life.

And, most importantly, the Zissou has brought that kid-like feeling back to me. During the day, as a break, I’ll go out and ride for just 10 minutes at a time around my neighborhood. I’ll feel the whirl of the wheels, the burning of my quads as I power up a hill, the wind in my face. And I feel free, like a kid again.

I know as time goes on I’ll get braver and ride longer and farther — maybe even taking it to the bank or to my post office to buy stamps or out for coffee — but for now, I’m just loving getting out and playing.

Wanna know a secret? Well, you know how we have a birthday coming up in May? And you know how we like to do giveaways during our birthday? Well, you just might be able to try one of these yourself … ! And believe me, you want one of these. —Jenn

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