Fake the Cred: How to De-Noob your New Bike

I’ve been riding a craptastic low-end Marin hybrid bike for 6 years now. I bought it to bop around my lovely Michigan town of Cheboygan when I was stationed there. Little did I know that my future husband would throw some knobby tires and a front disk brake on and call it Mountain Bike. For a complete Noob, I guess it was a fine start to my unremarkable mountain bike career.

My pre-FDA Lockdown readers might recall that I’ve been anything but a natural at this sport. My DNA is spread throughout RI, OH, and WY, and not in a good way. I threw tantrums most of the time and I refused to go biking some of the time, but most of all I spent lots of time smashing my knees into rocks.


When Eric wasn’t looking, I would launch my bike down rivenes and off foot bridges. I would kick it every now and then. I even hammered it with my bike lock a few times. I was convinced a newer, nicer mountain bike was the answer and I would have a better time ripping my shins open if I at least had a pretty bike to drip blood on.

Of course, I’m a grown ass woman and I can do whatever I want. I could have bought a new bike long ago. But Eric assured me I’d be a much better rider if I spent as much time on the shit bike as I could before I broke it. I trust Eric’s judgement (except when it comes to fashion) so I held off.

I FINALLY accomplished my goal, to break my bike beyond inexpensive repair, last Friday. Somehow I snapped my rear axle. Eric was so proud of me! I was elated. I knew I might just end up with a replacement wheel, but I thought now was the moment to angle for the completely new ride.

Of course a fancy new bike does not a good rider make. We all love new gear, but us Noobs need to do our time. Gotta earn that shit! Unless you are up to HERE with the shit… Sometimes ya just gotta do what you want!

I brought home the Trek Mamba on Saturday. This is a highly rated bike on a lot of the bike nerd websites, one of the best bikes under $1000. Now’s a good time to get a bike, too, because the 2013 models are hitting the shops, thus good deals on 2012s.


Convo with my homie Ashley:
Me: “I think I just bought your bike.”
Ashley: “Is it the Trek Cobia?”
Me: “No it’s the Mamba. Yours sounds way more badass than mine.”
Ashley: “Actually the Black Mamba is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world!”

And I just thought it was a cornball ballroom dance. Thank goodness I’m surrounded by smart people!

My new bike is ALL kinds of Noobed out. Brilliant crisp white paint, glistening black tires, factory grease (the green stuff) in all the right crevices. The seat is white (terrible idea) and there are reflectors everywhere. I know I’m far from a badass biker, but I’m not doing myself any favors with this look.

I can take one of two paths here: earn the trail cred or FAKE the trail cred.

EARN THE TRAIL CRED. Ride the bike. A lot! Build up mud and dirt, scratch some paint, stain that brilliant white seat with butt sweat gradually.

1. Upend bike, propping it on seat and handlebars.
2. Remove all tags. (duh)
3. Using a flat screwdriver, remove your wheel reflectors. Follow with a Phillips to remove your handlebar and tail reflectors. Feel free to install these items on your husband’s bike.
4. Mix up some fine dirt particulates with water until forming a runny mud. Apply mixture to front wheel and spin the wheel (preferable forward). Admire your fresh spackling and repeat with rear wheel.
5. Scan bike for anything white and clean. In my case, my saddle (I don’t know why cyclists insist on calling their seat a saddle… It’s not a horse, people!). Place the saddle, white-down, in a potted plant. Water plant. With espresso.
6. Take blurry pictures of someone who bears a resemblance you to riding their mountain bike. Post to Instagram.


You’re welcome.

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