Know anyone who needs a bike?
I broke down and bought not one, but two bikes, on the same day. Prior to that, we had three bikes between us. Joe’s bike. My old mint green Peugeot Montreal Express mountain bike clunker I bought in college. I was waiting for it to keel over or get stolen, so I could replace it, but it was too stubbornly sturdy and ugly, like its owner.
I also inherited my roommate’s old step-through Diamondback bike, which I kept at work for the rare errand by bike. (She apparently didn’t know how to ride one, I think her ex bought it for her.)
Since I’d started biking to work more, it had gotten really galling how often I’d be passed up by people on faster (read: snazzier) bikes. Sad, isn’t it, my piqued ego was the main motivation to get a new bike!
A big factor in avoiding buying a new bike all this time had been the research. I hate doing consumer evaluations and comparisons, but I just can’t make any major purchases without having done the research. It sort of helped to narrow it down for my main uses: biking to work on paved surfaces, and lugging weekly provisions from Farmer’s Market. I almost never do recreational rides.
I ended up with a Terry Symmetry (road, there’s only one dealer, in Berkeley). And a Bianchi Boardwalk (hybrid, used via craigslist).
The Terry was a bit of an impulse, it just felt really good when I was riding it. The guy looked at me quizzically when I said I needed to add a kickstand. I have to have a kickstand and a backrack for all my bikes. And a bell.
It’s one thing, getting used driving a new car: where the controls are, and how they function differently from what you’ve been used to. Getting used to a new bike is a whole another ball game, because it directly impacts your body, your muscles, your back, and you have to keep tweaking things, like the height and the distance of the seat from the handlebars. I guess I had to go through the same thing with the Peugeot, once a upon a time, but that’s so long ago, I can’t remember.
The flip side of major purchases is . . . what to do with the old bikes. The Peugeout I’ll probably hang onto for a while. Ostensibly for back-up, but really, it’s because I’m rather sentimental about that bike. It’s been with me for so long, and served me so well. I’ll get rid of the red one. But how? Sell? Give away? For cash, an entertaining sob story, an original and unique purpose? How to get it to someone who will need it, someone worthy of it? Too many questions, for such small consequences.