Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Can Haz a Bike? (prequel to A Lesson in Biking)

My Sweet New Ride
I recently bought a bike, and, although I’d ridden bikes over the years, my most recent experience was mostly on those cruddy, non-geared “beach cruisers”. In fact, I hadn't had a 10 speed since I was in 5th grade and my best friend bequeathed hers to me upon moving to another state….over 30 years ago!! (Where does the time go??)

My husband lucked into a sweet deal on Ebay about a month ago leaving me the only member of our family without a bike. I searched periodically on Amazon's and Target's websites hoping to find THE bike that would be just right for me. I diligently perused pictures and read the customer reviews, but nothing ever called my name. The next thing I knew my husband had affixed a bike rack to the back of my car. Things were getting serious. It was time for me that to take the plunge. At Target. Not exactly a bike shop with experienced salespeople.

The shopping process was a little scattered because we had both children with us and I was wearing a dress which makes test riding in the aisles of Target even more precarious than usual. After looking at a few of the women’s bikes and confirming my choice with customer reviews on my phone I settled on a Schwinn Hybrid. It’s brown. Hardly the cute, mint-green ones I’d been eyeing online, but  the time had come to make a decision and the family had just about run out of patience. (Also, the bikes are dangerously close to the toy aisles and my husband and I had already declared this a No-Toy-Trip into Target.)

It was the last week of school, plus I’m in graduate school so I didn't actually take my new bike for its initial spin for 2 whole weeks. I was excited and nervous because some of the reviews from claimed the in-store assemblage of bikes to be less than reliable.

I hopped on one afternoon in my driveway and was immediately faced with decisions when trying to choose a gear. There are 3 on one handle and SEVEN! on the other. That adds up to like 456 choices of gears I think…way more than the 10 I’d never mastered in fifth grade.

I needed help.

To be continued...

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