Thursday, June 02, 2005

like the proverbial fish

I wonder how I ever managed without a bicycle. I bought one on Saturday, having not owned a bike since my Christchurch days (4 1/2 years ago). My then-boyfriend got us into mountain-biking (and our friend google tells me he's still entering those competitions and coming last, but at least he's trying, bless him), and many a fun afternoon was spent at Bottle Lake. Not so fun was the time I tried night riding at Bottle Lake (my night vision is not good, I was so tense it was awful), or when he would tell me not to get off and walk when going up hill (do not tell me what to do when I'm tired and grumpy and can't breathe, thank you very much).

Anyway, so I finally decided my thumb is healing so well that I can't use it as an excuse anymore. So off I went to look at bikes. The choices were a pretty purple one (the Editter suggested I add sparkles, a la Cesca), only 50 buckaroos and kind of heavy, or an ugly white one for $150 but nice and light. And being ugly, perhaps less likely to get stolen. According to Missing Link, "the Bay Area is among the worst areas worldwide for bike theft- Over 4 billion bikes are stolen every month in Berkeley alone. The average time of ownership of a bike before it is stolen is only 17 minutes." I'm not sure where they get their statistics from.

I ended up waiting a week after first looking, and then I went into the shop 15 minutes before it closed and had to make a quick decision. So I went with purple. It was cheaper than the lock and helmet. Even though helmets aren't compulsory here, I thought I'd better get one. But I have to admit I've been riding without it, because it's so nice not to have to wear it. I know, I know, it's stupid not to wear it.

And now I've ridden it every day and don't know how I managed before. I can get to work in 10 minutes! And even though it's been so long since I've ridden a bike, I found that getting back on one was, why, just like riding a bicycle!