I let #20 on my 30 Before List be a little vague… Get a car, scooter or new bicycle. Oh the options!
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been car-less for three years now. Granted, the first year I was traveling, but when I returned to Portland I kept putting it off, and oddly enough I’m still car-free. The streetcar, bus, MAX, and hitching rides (with friends, people, with friends!) takes me almost everywhere I want to go. When do I miss having a car? In the evening, on the weekends, or if it’s pouring outside. Zipcar helps with the weather problem, but it’s still not a good option when you want open-ended meandering. So as summer is approaching, I decided a new bike would be the most economical — and fun — option. I downgraded my Zipcar membership to the pay-as-you-go option to save a bit… for the bicycle I just bought. Oh, hello! Here’s my new bike… and bike mechanic kitteh.
After over a month of research, learning about bikes, test riding (yes, I’m the Foursquare mayor of a few local bike shops now, oops), scouring Craigslist and bike blogs, I’m speaking a whole new bike language that I had no idea existed two months ago. And my apologies to the folks I spend a lot time with. I have a tendency to obsess over things sometimes… and I’ve been a little bike crazy lately. Who wants to go to breakfast and listen to my yammer on about bicycles? “I think I’ve finally decided on a mixte!” <<one of those words I learned.
The bike I initially wanted was the Public D3, but after taking the D8 for a test spin at Clever Cycles, I realized it was just a tad too big for me. To make a long story short, I briefly fell in love with a 2009 Fuji Touring bike — it had drop bars, rear rack/fenders, and such an awesome (& spendy!) ride, but wasn’t tipping the cute scales for me. I tried a few road bikes, hybrids, cruisers, and city bikes, and then test rode the Linus Mixte back at Clever Cycles again. I liked that it was cheaper than the Public bikes, but the smallest frame size was 49cm and they were out of stock a few days after I was in. Then I test rode a mixte off Craigslist that needed $200 worth of work, and was already $300! So I ended up ordering a cheaper bike online, and having it “re-assembled” by the awesome guys at A Better Cycle. I’ve always known Portland is a bike town, but once you’re actually looking for a bike, it’s a little frustrating trying to find one! All the bikes shops around town were amazingly helpful and friendly, but I still had a hard time finding a bike that was both a small frame and in my price range, which is why I ended up getting it online.
Now I want white-washed tires, so my bike will be a Creamsicle. CUTE!