loco motion

Blogreader Adrienne passed along this fascinating bike blog by a friend of hers that I’m sure you’ll be interested in, which reminded me that I’m really excited to psych myself up for riding to work starting in May or June. The building is about 2.5 miles from my house on a nice flat route and only one scary street crossing, so I’m looking forward to it.

Seriously, this little tableau is a part of my commute, a part that I never see when I drive to work:

Unbelievable.

Astonishing beauty aside, there are some obstacles to this plan:

  • I am massively lazy.
  • Perhaps this is because I stand up and run around at work for a dozen or so hours a day. I’m a bit worried biking to work will use up precious energy I need for, uh, work.
  • I’m a scardey cat and only want to bike to work when I can get a ride home at night or can get home before dark (which as of yet has never actually happened).
  • I am constantly lugging insane amounts of food/containers/groceries/laundry/boxes to go to the PO to and from work. I guess I will need to buy some sort of bike trailer in time, sigh.
  • I own two bikes, and both have problems. One is a newish Schwinn that I do not like because it’s ugly. The other is a 1960s Schwinn I always ride, which might explain why I secretly hate riding my bike. It weighs at least 50 lbs and can’t be ridden on anything but the most freshly poured concrete unless you want it to turn your arms to jelly. It also doesn’t particularly like turning, and is crazy rattley, even though I recently (and by recently, I mean: three years ago) got it completely tuned up. And it has foot brakes, which terrify me. BUT I LOOK SO FUCKING CUTE RIDING IT! I know what I need to do is what my bike guru pal Randy has suggested a trillion times and sell both bikes and get a nice comfy rideable new bike that looks vintagey and cool and thus have the best of both worlds. OK, soon.

Speaking of wheeling around, did I ever mention that we bought this electric scooter?

For complicated reasons involving the DMV not being able to tell us if we need motorcycle licenses/license plates or not (we keep going in and they keep saying, “Uh…I have no clue.”) and not wanting to shell out $300 a piece for helmets, we’ve never ridden it anywhere except up and down our street. For a while we were going to sell it, because we convinced ourselves it was an impulse buy that wouldn’t actually fit into our lives that well, but now that we have the building, it’s going to be a perfect second car! Unfortunately, if we had $600 right now I would steal it to give to my contractor to put a window into the shop, not helmets, so it will have to wait a wee while since I’m terrified of driving the thing and certainly am not going to go out without a helmet (and even though it’s a scooter, I still sort of want a cool non-leather motorcycle jacket).

Soon!

The other thing is that I want to put a bike rack at the shop. And unlike a normal person, who buys a normal, industrial, plain jane thing and is done with it, the bike rack thing has lodged itself in my brain as a Thing of Potential Awesomeness, so I asked around and Randy (and Adrienne! This post is dedicated to you two.) gave me amazing ideas. Randy’s typical bit of brilliance was a custom bike rack that says BONBONS.

I! MEAN! COME! ON!

HOW FUCKING AWESOME IS THAT IDEA?

And in typical Randy-style he found me a metalsmith in New Paltz who could make it, and also reminded me that it might constitute a sign, so I should keep this link handy.

But with thought, I actually think I like this idea better (also from Randy): getting my logo (of which I have a new one, which you are going to kvell over when I finally unveil it!) made into a rack. SO RAD.

So now we will enter Phase Two of Thing of Potential Awesomeness: committing myself to not buying the cheap Not Awesome thing, and saving up forever in order to buy the Thing of Definite Awesomeness, while being annoyed at not having The Thing for months and perhaps years. This is how I live: like a 12-year-old girl who saves up her allowance for three weeks in order to get the huge lollipop and suffers the entire time because she knows she could be eating the smaller lollipops.

You know what? It’s a pretty fucking awesome way to live. Infrequent huge lollipops add so much more value to a life than frequent standard-issue lollipops, don’t you think?

I’m going to appreciate the crap out of that custom bike rack around 2013 when it arrives…

4 Responses to “loco motion”

  1. adriennefriend

    This Randy seems full of great ideas and helpfulness. The custom bike rack is gonna be soooo good. Glad you found Mark’s blog engaging!

    Life is so much better on a bike. Happy sigh.

    Reply
  2. Randal Putnam

    Hooray! Buy less and pay more. This is my secret formula for saving the world. We consume too much and pay too little. As a result, we end up with a million things all of which suck and in the process use up so much energy and resources and support jobs that suck our souls. If we wait to but one good thing instead of ten mediocre things, we use less energy and resources and can afford to pay high dollar so that the workers can be paid a fair wage and make something they can be proud of. Win win win win!

    You would enjoy a different bicycle, but you probably don’t need a new one. I am a huge proponent of used. There are a million used lighter faster pretty and fun bicycles out there. Lacey has a spare that would be perfect for you. Ask her about it sometime. She might be willing to part with it.

    Be well!

    Reply
    • Randal Putnam

      p.s. On second thought, I think your Schwinn could be easily turned into the super perfect bicycle. Get new higher pressure slick tires and swap out the rear cog for one with a few more teeth and it would be so much easier to pedal. The high pressure tires reduce rolling resistance (when they are kept inflated) so you go faster with less effort. The larger rear cog makes the gearing easier. Each pedal stroke will move the bicycle a shorter distance. If you keep your feet going the same speed, the bicycle will go slower (but you won’t have to push as hard to do it). No need to rush through a bicycle ride anyway, right? Not with your views! Tighten up all bolts on your rack and fenders to stop rattles. Or even remove the wire baskets on back. Save them. When you get stronger you may want them again, but for a year enjoy a lighter bicycle. Your trailer idea is a good one, but know that it is pretty easy to load it up to the point pedaling up the slightest incline will be tough. You may think your route is flat, but put 75 pounds in a trailer and you will discover the hills. Get a kids trailer form Burley rather than a cargo trailer. They hold so much and people will give you tons of room (thinking you have a kid in there). Its all so easy and so good! Your bicycle that you love, more lovable! Weee!

      Reply

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