Training: New Bike

A Bike for Tall Women

Novara Transfer. Image from

Ever since the All Bike, All the Time experiment began in the Spring, I’ve been hankering for more of an around-town cruiser: something with a upright riding position, cargo capability, a chain guard to keep my jeans from getting greasy, fenders for all-weather riding, internal hub for easy shifting, and headlights and taillights for evening and morning visibility. I also preferred a step-through frame, but try as I might, I couldn’t find one where the proportions of seat, handlebars and pedals lined up quite right for my taller-than-average female body. (I’m 6’1″, or 185 cm.)

When I was in Germany, I saw tons of bikes that fit the bill, right down to the step-through frame, but there was no getting around the fact that they were expensive — starting at $1,000 plus another $200+ for shipping and/or checked baggage fees on the flight home.

I’d been eyeing the Novara Transfer at REI for some time. No, it’s not a step-through; it’s more of a mixte frame, a more unisex compromise that makes it easier to get on and off without flashing the neighbors, but has more of the height-friendly proportions of a men’s bike, which I’ve been riding for 15 years. And it’s on sale for more than 50% off its original price, a fraction of what I’d have to pay for a European bike.

The new bike will arrive by the weekend. I’m quite excited to test it out.

What happens to the old bike? I’ll take off its basket and streamline it down into the fitness-focused bike that it deserves to be. Old Trek will be used for the pure joy of miles, while the new Novara will be the utility bike for around-town use and car replacement.

(Weirdly, I realize that I think of my old Trek as a “he” while my new bike is more of a “she.” No idea why.)

In other news, it dawns on me that my fitness retreat begins in less than three weeks. There will be running with a group, and I’ll be expected to keep pace. Know how much running I’ve done recently?


I also want to register for a trail race that’s a month away. That month will be over before I know it.

Guess who needs to get up early tomorrow morning to get her running legs back under her? Yep, that would be me. If I can wake early enough, it might even be smart to swim AND run, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

What are your fitness plans for the week?

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