Anyway, back on topic....It was 2003 and I was looking for a way to get back in shape that didn't involve hours in the gym, (or the monthly dues) allowed me to be outside and, since I pretty much hate running, didn't involve running.
I grew up riding bicycles and had always enjoyed it. Then, in the early and mid 80's, as a newly married guy, I got in to mountain biking as a way to stay in shape and blow off steam. We lived in a 2 bedroom, rent controlled apartment in a not so great area, but I'd ride my bike up in to the Hayward Hills a couple times a week. At the time it was a Schwinn Sierra, then after that was stolen a Giant Iguana, then after that was stolen (remember, we lived in a not so great area) a Diamond Back Ascent....(before you judge me for being negligent, they were all locked on my patio and the last one was actually run through an eye bolt into the concrete)
Each of the above bikes was a rigid framed, non-suspended bike and being a young married guy, each was a stretch to our already limited budget that I justified as being less expensive than therapy and/or blood pressure medicine. While my riding friends in the early 90s were moving to bikes with front suspension, I was still riding the heck out of my hardtail, rigid framed bikes and, not knowing any better, loving them.
Then as life got busier and I didn't have time for the rides anymore, the bikes usage decreased while my weight increased.
So, its now 2003 and I'm looking to lose some weight...I decided to try to get back into mountain biking. Of course, by now the old diamond back without shocks and with cantilever brakes, was considered old technology and seeing as I couldn't get in shape unless I rode and I couldn't ride unless I had a "new" bike, I started shopping. I'm pretty sure shopping for a new bike is almost as fun as riding a new bike....so one day, after many trips to all the local bike shops, spending time reading all the magazines, I wandered in to the local REI and saw they had a full suspension, disc braked, shiney red, K2 on clearace for almost half off the stickered price...it was like a sign from heaven...I was obviously meant to buy this bike....so I did.
Eventually though, I realized one bike couldn't do everything so I bought a road bike, then I got in to single speeding and from there a 29er....until the point that my old K2 didn't get ridden anymore and I dismantled it and hung the frame on my wall as a memento.
Still have a ways to go and will have to actually buy a chain and cables, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the old gal rides...I think she'll end up being my loaner bike going forward so I don't need to loan out my 29er....