By Trina Haynes
The Marin Bridgeway falls well within the Toaster Bike classification (as coined by our fearless leader Maurice Tierney). A toaster bike is a bike that is as simple to use as a toaste: push the pedals and off you go. Mmm, I love toast. And Cylons for that matter. Mmm, Cylon toast.
My 14-mile round trip commute takes me over a few steep (and a few not-so-steep) hills. A two-foot shoulder off the tarmac with occasional stretches of gravel, dirt and glass is all that separates me from cars passing at about 45mph. The occasional live (and sometimes not-so-alive) animal keeps things interesting. My first ride on the Bridgeway was on this terrain. I was bit skeptical of the slim handlebars and whether or not I’d get enough leverage off of them to power up the two steeper hills along the ride. Overcoming the smaller handlebars was easier than I thought and beneficial when tucking in for my attempt at aerodynamic speed on the descent. I’m a racer in my head.
The Shimano EZ-Fire shifter is simple and, well, easy to use. Thumb and fore finger shifting makes getting up the two mega hills much less daunting.
The Bridgeway’s 6061 aluminum frame held up to my semi-aggressive style of riding: hopping over various objects as well as a few unexpected gravel and dirt spinouts on the night ride home.
For some reason my size 17 tester frame is a wee bit too small for me, and the 19 would likely be too big (I have the same problem with shoes when they don’t make half size. I have to have an 8.5). So, I swapped out the stem for a slightly longer one, which gave me my preferred 30 degree back angle and a less upright riding position. As a cyclist with back and hip problems, this angle for riding works best for me.
The Marin Bridgeway and I will get to know each other more over the next few months and I’m sure I’ll start to make a few more tweaks, as we all do to make our bikes more “ours”. Such as, the need for at least one bell. My Marin Bridgeway needs a voice. My bell is that voice! Fellow cyclists, pedestrians and groundhogs the world over must hear that voice! Bridgeway Coming through!!!!