Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting my bicycle in gear

Newer readers may not know, but just over a year ago I was on a quest to find a used bicycle. The reasons for this were twofold: 1) reduce the use of my car in my suburban neighborhood and 2) get some exercise. While I was thrilled to finally find a bike in the style I wanted at a modest price, I did incur further expenses for the bicycle. I paid $30 for a new bicycle helmet, $10 for a bicycle rack for my car, 25 cents for a cable with which I could lock my bike and recently, $13 for a folding bike rack to store the bike in my garage. In the scheme of things, paying ~$80 for a bike and accessories is not bad. However, I really only used my bike three times last year and the third time, I lost a gear. Since I only have three gears, this is a problem. Plus my physical condition was less than ideal for going very far on the bicycle.

Well, my bicycle has been sitting in the garage for several months, but I finally took it to the local bike shop. I thought the bicycle I had found was a good deal and the gentleman who looked over it for me confirmed it. He said everything looked good on it, no bent rims, the chain was fine, tires looked good and no issues with brakes or steering. He estimated the tune up damages for the gear shift to be ~$50. I told him the greater adventure was getting the bike rack onto my car, a 15-minute job sorting out direction and straps.

So, in two weeks, I will have my revitalized bike back in my life and no excuse not to use it. Except in rainy weather, worrying about my neighbors staring at me or being too tired to go around the block. One step at a time--a bike in good shape will get me started and eliminate a portion of my excuses. I will give bicycling another shot and see where it gets me. If it does not work out, I can always sell it on craigslist.

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