Thursday, June 25, 2009

A "New" Bike for Don!

Tomorrow will mark the end of my second week of summer vacation.

You'd think a few more blog entries would have shown up by now! But they haven't. I've been busy, and I've been napping. I've been balancing catching up on household projects and taking naps. I'm also having quite a bit of fun.

Speaking of fun... I bought a bike!

Back in April my daughter inherited a bike from her grandpa. His children and grand-children had a "lottery" of sorts, and Danielle got grandpa's bike. Danielle doesn't have a garage, but I do. So I helped myself to Grandpa's old street bike, until I hurt my back riding it. Ouch: for 4 to 6 weeks.

But before I hurt my back riding the bike, I had some fun. I rode the bike four or five times a week. Just short rides around the neighborhood. I was burning calories and having fun doing it.

So, with a recovered back, and a bit of time on my hands, I researched bikes that were easier on the back, but still lots of fun. I discovered a class of bikes called "comfort" bikes. Inspired by the California Beach Cruisers of the 60's, these bikes let you sit up straight, see the road, and offer a big cushy seat over big cushy tires.

I went to a local bike store and did some test rides around the parking lot. I found a winner: an Electra Townie Original 7D for "only" $400ish. I even found the color I liked: vivid blue. Check it out...

But this is not the bike I bought. I can give you 400 or so reasons. I may eventually buy the bike, but I thought I'd better do a reality check with something less pricey. CraigsList to the rescue!

I'd looked on CraigsList for an Electra before, but I had not found one. Then... one showed up about 10 miles away! It now lives in my garage. (Cost: $120)

I've adjusted the seat, the handle bars, and applied some oil in appropriate places. I've started touring the neighborhood again. I'm burning calories and having fun.

I pulled the bike out of the garage tonight to snap a few photos to share here, hence, the somewhat strange lighting... but you get the idea.

Where I live, you can ride a bike year round. Two or three weeks out of the year we have rain, and since my bike lacks fenders, I'll skip those few wet days. But otherwise, barring any further back mishaps... I'm rolling along on my four or five year old Electra Deluxe. It has seven speeds of fun and a chain guard! Woo hoo!


  1. Oh nice!
    I need a new bike, I have grown some in the time since I got mine!
    Bike riding here is also a year round thing, lots of fun. I should do it more.
    Have fun with the bike!

  2. @We_the_pieces: I don't think I've bought a bike since my junior year in high school. (Class of '71 -- you do the math.) That bike was a used 10 speed. I've grown some too: older and "wider." I rode my "new" bike twice today! (It's getting more use than a gymn membership; that's for sure!) ;-)

  3. Hi Don,

    Allow me to let you into a secret - I have SIX bikes.

    Admittedly, one of them is a small mountain bike for my nephew, but the rest are bikes for all occasions, and to ensure no-one gets left out when they come to stay in France.

    I have two gorgeous mountain bikes for myself (one UK, one France) and a delicious Gitane road bike, all drop handlebars and very French. I don't use it that much but I really should.

    I'm cancelling my gym membership this week, because I never really use it - too boring.

    Biking is a great way to maintain fitness and see something of the world around you.

    Enjoy the ride, love the journey, savour the voyage!


  4. Sasha,

    Six bikes... nice! I agree that biking is a great way to "maintain fitness and see something of the world around you." Biking is not boring. Therein lies its major appeal. I also like the sense of movement, balance, and a bit of dance that it requires. The breeze in the face is nice too. I've even discovered some local aromas. This morning it was a mimosa tree. You don't get that in a gym!


  5. I love bikes! I'm still a spastic teen though, so I favor fancy-schmancy alloy/carbon road bikes and obnoxious fixies. But hey, a bike's a bike!

    Thanks for all the input on the captions! Writing them is always the hardest part of posting... trying to get the right amount of wit and sophistication without too much cliche is a challenge. You're right, sometimes they don't make much sense (Epik was purposefully misspelled because the group uses that spelling in their name)

  6. @Kane: Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Bikes are bikes and the owner gets to choose what they like, want, need, and can afford. (Plus, you've go to pick what your body can handle.) ;-)

    Your pictures are superb. As I was going through some of your older posts, I discovered others that have been used for prompts on PP&P. Go figure! You do a nice job with color or black and white. Very interesting stuff.


  7. Your bike is very similar to my "mint green" cruiser. You are right, they are oomfortable and easy to ride. More cushy for the tushy!! Have a wonderful time cruisin the neighborhood.

  8. @Glo: More cush' for the tush and support for the spine: those were my goals. I can also see better without craning my neck. I've been on neighborhood streets nearby that I've driven by for 20 years! It is fun. (Exploration is more of an attitude than an expedition!)