Way back in 2009, when I lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I spent months looking for a bicycle. After I found her, a mint green Fuji cruiser, I spent money tricking her out, getting racks, lights, and the bigass chain locks that NYers scared me into getting. After I was all set and ready – I never rode her. Well, I rode her once down to Union Square, and there really aren’t good bike lanes from the UWS down there. Being unsure about riding in NYC plus the fear that I could never leave her anywhere lest she be stolen meant that I never rode her anywhere. After a while, i felt so bad keeping her cooped up in my house, that I sold her to a woman who promised to ride her.
It’s 2012, and now I live in Brooklyn, near Prospect Park. I see bicyclists everywhere. Bike lanes abound. So I did what my roommate did, I bought a shitty bike from a guy who sold shitty bikes. There are some in NYC who say that you should ONLY own shitty bikes in NYC. It’s not a matter of IF your bike gets stolen, but WHEN. So I bought a shitty bike. I didn’t expect it to be awesome. I only spent $140 on it. But when I took it to the bike shop for a refresher, I figured, lube the chain, maybe replace the bike pads. Nope, the cost to get the bike into riding condition was more than I paid for it. Annoyed, I emailed the dude that sold it to me. He was interested in keeping relationships with his customers, so he did something all my friends are shocked about: he bought back the bike. (I of course give him good word of mouth for more customers, which I’m sure is worth more to him!).
I tried shopping for a used bike on Craigslist.com. I visited a few bikes. When I moved my price point above $250, I expected them to be less shitty. Most weren’t. So when i viewed $300 used bikes that were shitty, I started thinking JESUS CHRIST if I just pay another hundred more I can get a new one!! So that’s what I did. For two weekends I visited different bike shops. I had decided to get a “girl” bike so I could wear a skirt. i didn’t want to hear myself with the excuse, “but I CAN’T ride the bike, I have a skirt on!”
I tried the Public bikes (link) but it felt like a big high center of gravity.
I tried the Globe Daily 2, which felt like buttah, but sadly didn’t come in many pretty colors – and for $629, I wanted a pretty color!
Finally I discovered the Biria! After a few niggles with size (am I short legged LARGE or a long torsoed SMALL?) I had decided: Biria Citibike in SMALL. I had it down to Red or Cream. Wouldn’t you know it – I couldn’t HAVE the cream! Apparently Biria hadn’t ordered enough to keep up with demand, and I’d have to wait until the BOAT FROM CHINA came over in July to have one. Apparently no one in NYC had one. I could have the red one, anytime.
I thought about this for a few days, but decided dammit if I’m going to buy a new bike, i want to have the color I want. and the color I wanted was cream. I made a list of every bike store in NYC who carried Biria bikes. I started calling. After a while, they all had the same story – “no cream, no one has it, have to wait until July.” But for some reason I kept calling. There were two stores taht took my information and said they’d call me back when they checked inventory. One store in particular in Queens though, I had a *feeling* about…
I called every single bike store in NYC, and in Jersey and near Connecticut too. No bikes. I took a break (it was suddenly 2 pm in the afternoon) and showered and made lunch. When I went back into my room, I saw the Queens bike store had left me a message. I already knew what it would be – THEY HAD ONE FOR ME!! It was the last cream bicycle in the city. They put it together for me, and in a few days I had my bike!
I feel about inanimate objects sometimes like they are faithful dogs. I felt that way about my motorcycle (the one I had in college, anyway), the second one I had wasn’t so alive.
I got on the bike, and KNEW it was mine. I had them do some adjustments, but I rode him all the way home. And named him Cappy – because he looks like a cappuccino. He’s sad right now, because I didn’t have a chance to ride him last weekend. I wore myself out running too much. 🙂