I bought a new bicycle.
I was planning on waiting until after I finished school and had made some money, but things just happened and there is a new bicycle in my life.
The old one is still around, it is sitting in the garage with its flat rear tire. I’ll hang onto it for awhile I think. If I want to do any trail riding (which I don’t ever really do) or if we get another snow like the one a couple of weeks ago, it is pretty invaluable.
Flat rear tire. That is what precipitated the purchase of my new white speedster. Make no mistake, it was not a snap decision (not entirely anyway). I have been checking craigslist for the last few months now, monitoring the prices of road bikes and watching for any great deals, sending off a few questions here and there. Then we had that snow a few weeks ago and I was able to ride the faithful red bike around just hours after the snow had finished and the roads were marginally clear. Last week, I was cycling home from a group counselling session at a local elementary school when the heavens opened and this odd, and freezing cold, combination of large fluffy flakes and big raindrops descended upon me. By the time I got home, the lower half of my body was soaked to the skin. The rain/snow had been so fierce at times that I could not see where I was going. The edges of the road were still (and are still in many places) covered with all of the debris that accumulates after a week of snow. I had no choice but to cycle right through it.
When I got home, I thought nothing of parking my bicycle in the garage and rushing inside to clean up/dry off. The next evening however, when I took my bicycle out, the rear tire was completely flat. By that time, the stores were closed and I no longer had any patches in my patch kit. The tire was going to have to wait until the next day. Problem: the next day, Saturday, was a full day of work followed by company for dinner. There was no time to go downtown, buy a patch kit, and fix the tire before I needed the bicycle on Monday morning. Sunday? you ask. Nope. My local bike shop is closed. Solution: buy a new bicycle.
You may have seen it on Twitter and Facebook: “How to solve the problem of a flat bicycle tire? Buy a new bicycle.” Yes, that is what I did.
I had seen a good-looking bike on craigslist and sent off an inquiry. The owner lived only a few blocks from me, so I went over and checked it out in person. It rode well, shifted well, braked reasonably okay (nothing I can’t improve on), and, best of all, had new tires. I bought it.
Since then I’ve been riding it everywhere. I’ve taken bicycle commuting to a whole new level (for me) and have myself fairly well outfitted now. The most crucial piece I’ve added to the bike: full mudguards.
Faithful red? Well, she still sits in the garage. I made a valiant attempt to fix her rear tire the other day and it ended badly. After spending an inordinate amount of time removing/patching/and replacing the tube and tire, I re-inflated the tire only to hear air hissing out… Apparently I hadn’t found whatever had punctured the tire in the first place and it had re-punctured it. So I still have to remove everything and start all over, but I’m waiting until it gets a little warmer in the garage and I have a little more will-power. The last time was a little bit of a chore and I’m not looking to be swearing over that tire anytime again soon.