I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike. Finally!
Last weekend Andrew and I went on the hunt for a new bike. Well, first we stopped at our favorite noodle soup place in the city.
I found a lonely ONE used bike shop in Auckland. For months I have been checking the community notice boards at the grocery store, and the website “TradeMe” which is like the on-line community listing service “Craigslist” in the US. All the bikes listed were $350 minimum. Yuck! Even if I was willing to spend that much, it’s so very hard to find short people bikes. I’m 5 feet tall, just over 150 cms and even women’s bikes are too tall for me. I figured a shop might be my best bet.
We made it to the used bike shop Saturday afternoon to find that they had an itty bitty collection of used bikes. The salesman suggested there were two bikes that would work well for everyday use as well as for a triathlon and they were both modified bikes. One looked liked it was built the year my grandmother was born and the other looked like a beach bike ran into a tool shop with a five year old. It might have worked well for someone, but it was such a hodgepodge of parts and accessories I could barely keep a straight face. And the worst part? One was 350 bucks and the other was 480! Too much to spend on a bike that isn’t “right”.
Per the suggestion of the used bike shop, Andrew and I ventured on over to the Bike Barn. A chain store that only sells bikes and bike equipment. There, I learned not only was the least expensive bike I could buy $600, but it was too big for me anyways! If I’m going to finance a bike folks, it better be pretty darn perfect. I don’t understand why a bike shop wouldn’t sell bikes for people my height. I’m not that short! Especially for a woman.
Argh. At this point, I was starting to pout. I was in a grumpy mood and my super awesome boyfriend was being a total winner and doing all he could to keep my spirits up. How would I ever find a bike that I could afford and would be decent enough not to hurt me? In the least? I just couldn’t get back on the cheap bike I bought from the discount store, it was just too ill-fitted for me, but I had a triathlon to train for!
Well, as luck would have it, we meandered down a handful of odd blocks walking back from the bike shop and happen to pass a thrift store. I joked to Andrew that it’d be funny if they sold bikes and as we turned our heads, almost as if a light was shining down on them, there were three bikes about 3 yards into the shop surrounded by a clutter of random things. The shop was owned by the cutest old little Vietnamese man I’ve even seen. The shop had such peculiar items as a conical Chinese hat and memento’s from Queen Elizabeth’s 60th birthday. But most importantly, they had my bike. It’s not perfect, by any means, but it was about as close to perfect as I could find without special-ordering a bike in.
It had the toe clips instead of pedals, so I did have to buy new pedals for the bike, but maybe one day I’ll be serious enough about this triathlon stuff to buy shoes to go with those toe clips. One day. For now, I have to train harder since I may have slacked a bit over the holidays.
But I’m back on track. My ride today was a lot of fun and I’m excited to get some more experience on my new bike =D