My new bike arrived a couple of weeks back and other than my camera, I can’t remember being so excited about a new gift. I’ve wanted a bike for a long time. I borrowed one during grad school and it came in handy in those months when I was car-less. After that we always seemed to have other priorities – the house, family, etc. When E got her new bike a few years back I was tempted to get one. But pregnancy and a new baby pushed that once again to the back burner. When I opened that silver helmet on Mother’s Day, I was pretty jazzed about having a new mode of transportation. There are about a billion things that I like to do within a couple mile radius of the house, and I’m already looking forward to hopping on this to get to them, rather than hopping in the car. There may be a kid seat or a bike trailer to follow soon, but for now I think I’m okay with just getting on and heading off on my own for awhile. Nothing wrong with that on occasion, now is there?
The model I settled on after test driving a lot of bikes and researching a lot more, was the Electra Townie Euro 24D. I bought it from Big Shark, and they were excellent at taking my wacky list of things a wanted in a bike and finding the model for me. I wanted a nice hybrid bike that could handle the sometimes crappy streets and paths around here – cobblestones, bricks, but mostly just potholes – and with enough gears to get my out-of-shape self up the big hills. I also don’t like hunching over on a bike – I much prefer the way a nice vacation rental bike rides (minus the pitiful single speed). It had to be super light to get up and down the exterior stairs to our basement for storage (no garage), fenders to keep the water and mud from splashing up on my rear (never attractive), and feature #1 – a rack to hold gear like my camera or a bag of vegetables or a stack of books. Cool color was optional (wasabi – a great shade of green, bonus), and a cool shape. Step through bike and one that I could put both feet on the ground because I’m a bit of an uncoordinated klutz. The headlight and taillight were just icing on the cake.
I’m still working my way outwards on it, and will continue to work my way further and further abroad. After walking everywhere for so long, it’s amazing how quickly you reach those familiar places once on a bike. No complaints here though – a quicker commute just means more time to enjoy the cup of coffee, another chapter or a longer conversation once I get there.
Thanks to M and family for such a great idea and a truly perfect gift.