Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Money Don't Grow on Trees

But Obviously Bicycles Do

This is not the bike I bought, but it might as well have been.

I wanted the blue one but the shop master said the green one was more my style so I forked over six big ones (about sixty dollars) and rode off on my secondhand green machine into the setting sun.
I had been contemplating purchasing a new set of wheels for the last two years now. I bought a collapsible bike about three years ago and truth be told it gave me more stress than the convenience and sheer riding pleasure it provided.

I couldn't get beyond the thought of it possibly collapsing right beneath me while peddling atop the asphalt so I wound up all the hinged parts with rolls and rolls of black electrical tape for peace of mind. Then I worried about rainwater collecting inside the taped over areas, trapped and unable to evaporate, eventually rusting away the metal from within.

My dream bike is the beach cruiser which has just begun to make inroads into this far eastern marketplace. Their price tag isn't prohibitive, but the width of the handle bars is. It's just too broad shouldered to fit between the fence surrounding the property my house (my house for this month anyway) sits on and the house itself. That's why I've decided to go with a more slender Japanese model.

I had been passing a more-than-slightly-used bike parked in front of a local mom and pop bike shop for weeks now. At half the price of a lower end machine (and approximately half the price of a cheap new cruiser) it was kind of tempting. I thought I could pay the lesser price and if for some reason the size of the house I'm living in should shrink or the size of the property it sits on should expand, I would still have enough dough to finally purchase my dream bike and I wouldn't feel like I had wasted a lot of money on the interim vehicle either.

When I saw that dreamy sky blue bike displayed outside the shop along with the green one the temptation doubled. It had everything I wanted, two wheels, a light, a brand name that I could trust and a shiny new bell. When the shop owner steered me toward the model that had been sitting out in front of the store, unsold for months, I didn't suspect that he was simply trying to get rid of it.

It was fate. That bike was meant for me and the fact that nobody had bought it all those months was just further proof that some unseen hand was holding it for me.

Post Script

In hindsight perhaps I should have bought a new bike for about forty dollars more. The new ones come with a three-year warranty so if you get a flat tire or whatever, the bike shop mechanic will fix it free of charge. Anyway I'm thinking about stripping my bike down and souping it up to make it a lean, green, street eating machine like no other on the planet.

Before I entered kindergarten (many years ago) I had to go through  some sort of an assessment in which a tester asked me a series of predetermined questions. One of the questions was, "Which is faster a bicycle or a car?" For a five-year-old genius like myself the answer was a no-brainer. I said, "my bicycle." The answer set off alarms in the testers minds and they suggested to my mother and father that I might have some sort of learning disability. Later, on the way home, my parents asked me why I thought a car was faster than a bike? So I explained, "because my bicycle is the fastest thing in the world." It really was.

This is a receipt from the bike shop. I don't think they've sold too many cycles recently, the pre-printed ink is so faded you can hardly make out the name of the store printed at the top of the receipt, which makes me kind of glad I bought mine there.

Go here to see more bicycles that grow on trees: Bamboo Bikes and More

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