New Bike

Friday, April 25, 2003

We conserve electricity around here. Not because we’re earth muffins or hippie tree-hugger vegan anti-SUV unpatriotic liberal terrorists. But because we have no money for it. Check that: My housemate has no money for it. And since we split the bills I do my part to help him conserve cash (and myself, I suppose) by leaving the AC off except for a few minutes at a time after I come back from excercising or something. Fine. I grew up in a house without AC (in Austin) — I know how to cope (and sitting around with the fans on and a thin film of sweat on my body brings back precious memories of childhood). No problems.

So what else is going on? …

I bought a bike today. That’s big news because I’ve wanted a nice bike for a long time, now, and I finally decided to take the plunge and get something good. I enjoy riding bikes. But. All the bikes I’ve owned before have been pieces of shit. My parents had some weird thing against buying bikes with speed shifts — such opulence should be left to the Rockefellers and Carnegies — which made most bikes I owned growing up rather difficult to handle in hilly Austin. And most bikes I’ve had have been sort of rickety, like you worry the front wheel might pop off or the pedals break at any moment. They’ve had rusty parts that cause excess friction. Etc.

So I decided to do it right. My version of right, anyway. I fronted the cash for a Trek 4500 mountain bike, got the good locks (because Austin, according to the guy I spoke with at Freewheelin’, ranks #8 in the nation for the number of bikes stolen — and UT ranks #1 amongst universities for bike theft), and I got a good helmet. Anyway, the bike is awesome. They fit it to my body. It’s got shocks on the front wheel which make going off of curbs and over bumps surprisingly smooth. And it’s got the 24 speeds. And a warranty.

So I’m happy about that. It cost a chunk, but I decided that it’ll pay for itself in about a year because I’ll use less gas and need fewer repairs on the truck. And I’ll get exercise (though in this weather I can’t go anywhere to formal on the bike since I’ll arrive drenched in sweat).

Great. Oh, and riding it for the first time around Hyde Park this afternoon I hit over a squirrel accidentally. A personal first. (I didn’t kill it — just winged it.) Damn squirrels.