Design, Self

bikin’ ’round town

When I first moved to New York, I swore I’d never ride a bike in the city. I watched cyclists on a mission slipping between cars and racing through red lights without so much as a glance to either side and thought if a car didn’t hit me on a bike, another cyclist would. There were always bicycle carcasses chained to posts along the road, with wheels missing, or seats, or even handle bars. Plus, my roommate at the time had gotten hit by a car a few years back and now had to make monthly doctor appointments for back pain. (On the flip side, she was also living off her settlement money.)

But (then) boyfriend’s apartment was only accessible via a bus that let me off a good 15 minutes from his apartment. A bike would get me there in 10 minutes, door to door.

After a year of painfully cold mornings spent waiting for delayed buses and hurrying through dark, rowdy neighborhoods in the summer, I decided to get one.

And not just any bike: a very safe, very slow, Walmart mountain bike, which I upgraded with a basket, a seat so cushy I could barely tell when I sat down, and the mother of all bike locks.

Even with these accouterments, however, that bike was very obviously cheap. I once left it somewhere for three weeks, which in New York means you might as well have put it up for sale. The bike next to it kept getting pieces stolen off it, day by day, until it was just a frame. Whereas mine remained untouched in mint (albeit rusted) condition. I almost felt jilted.

But as with all cheap things, it didn’t last. I put more money into repairs than I spent on the original bike, and it didn’t feel very safe after it broke down twice en route to work.

THUS:

THAT’S RIGHT. Nanny’s got some new wheels, and they are shiny, shiny chrome.

It’s SE Bikes’ Draft Lite, a flip-flop fixie (I know words!) that should eliminate the pain of gear shifting and also maybe work my legs more. This is a long story without a huge payoff, though, because I literally just got it today and still have to assemble it. Once I’ve given it a few go-s around town, though, I’ll do a little review here.

Still, my feelings about owning such a neat looking bike are mixed. On the one hand, I will no longer feel like I have to hide my face from the cyclists who inevitably zoom by me in the bike lane. On the other, I might actually have to worry about this one getting stolen.

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