Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bike for coolness

Dani and I have very recently bought bikes. My last bike was trashed (by me, on purpose) a year ago. I had bought it at a large chain department store for super cheap. So what I got was a super cheap bike. As in, it was TERRIBLE. It was heavier than a car, the gearshift locked up, the brakes squealed despite everything I did - and what finally made me go crazy and bust it up and throw it away was that every time I rode it and had to shift gears - the stupid chain would spin right off. So I'd be pounding up a steep hill, attempt to shift, and suddenly I'm pedaling against zero resistance and I have a dramatic fall to the ground. FURY I tell you.

I wanted to like bikes. I wanted to ride my bike to work every day and be a good-for-the-earth citizen. But hell no.

But Dani *really* wanted a bike, and the idea seemed more attractive as time went on, so she bought one for me because she's awesome like that. Now I have a nice bike. A *very* nice bike. As in, it's bloody expensive and it's rugged and manly and wants to crush you under its thick, mountain-bike tire treads. I love to ride it. It's like the wind. And the frame is delightfully feather-light. I look for excuses to zip around the block on it.

What's funny is that, all of sudden, I have unintentionally joined the Cool Bike Kid Club. A dread-locked about-to-be-a-Cambodian-missionary dude went into spasms at the sight of my bike. That I could understand. But today I rode to the local farmer's market (I'm such a goddamned hipster now), and this old man with an impressively huge bristly beard and large dirty overalls ran up to it to gush over it like it was a prize race horse. He takes his cigar out and drawls, "Now thiiiiiiiiis is an expensive bike!" And then he touched it in a way that made me uncomfortable.

I feel like I'd better educate myself on bike etiquette and bike secret handshakes and bike winks and nods and accessories. I don't want the Bike Club police to realize I'm an outsider and take me down in some vicious bike gang back-alley murder. Bike riding is intense, yo.

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