February 19, 2012

So today I woke up to two emails that were not so great, and SO GREAT!

Both were in response to a wanted ad I put on Craigslist in search of a free bike.

The first guy said he had one available – for $45. So my hopes were up, and then dashed like wet clothes beaten against a rock (were this the days of yore).

But then I noticed there was another in response to my ad, and this time the guy was willing to just give it to me! Wah hoo!

The story goes that the bike had been sitting in his backyard for about six years, and once belonged to someone (about my height, as it were) who he’s no longer friends with.

He said he didn’t see the sense in throwing it out, and I was going to put it to use, so he figured he’d contact me.

I was the second person he’d tried to give it to, so I’m pretty thankful right now that the first guy didn’t really get back to him (besides, that guy just looks for free bikes to fix up and sell).

After a good stuff in the back of my car, the as-of-yet-unnamed bike is now in my living room until I can figure out how to keep it and my other (pretty, but less practical one speed vintage cruiser) safe and secure in the backyard. Also known as “until I get a second lock, because the one I have now isn’t big enough to encompass both bikes’ wheels and frames before being locked.”

I’m sure you’re probably wondering what she looks like, so wonder no more. Here she is in all her free-wheelin’ glory:

(I’m still working on my photography skills, hence the slightly-out-of-focusness of this photo)

I still need a helmet, and I’m clearly going to need a kickstand, as well as a light for when I start to venture out in the darker hours, but I’m pretty pleased as punch for right now. I’ll give ‘er a little spiff and then take her to the streets.

The overall goal here is to get further than a couple of blocks without having an asthma attack, and work on “building up my core” as I’ve been trying to do in physio as part of my rehab, since cycling was one of the things I was told to do to get me there.

Oh, and of course, have fun and get places on my own person power, but those are some pretty obvious goals and built-in perks when it comes to riding, methinks.


I Got A Bicycle

August 17, 2010

A lot sure can happen in a couple of months. I traded the city for the country (or rather the sea, the sky and the mountains), sold off all that was weighing me down, and let go the bike I previously wrote an ode to in favor of one with more sentimental value (and better mechanical shape and feelings of safety, in all honesty).

The sweetest bike moment yet happened to me when I took Mary Louisa (that’s my bike’s name, in honor of my Grandma, to whom she originally belonged) for a jaunt on Sunday night. I was cruising down a slight decline of a hill when my iPod playlist came serendipitously upon ‘I Got A Bicycle’ by Coco Love Alcorn. It was a full circle moment, as that song has rung out in my head uncountable times in the past two years since I first heard it at her CD release concert at the Rio Theatre. When I would see someone riding a bike, there was the song, when I would look for a bike on Craigslist, when I would picture myself smiling till it hurt while coasting on a beautiful cruiser, there was that song! And then there it was again, in the exact moment of fulfillment.

I love that I didn’t have to orchestrate it, and didn’t even expect it as I had no real idea anymore as to what was on that playlist (as I’d made it for a staff party a few months ago and only ever listened to it that once).

As for Mary versus Blossom, she’s got similar features, with less space to stretch to reach the ground.

(Originally posted on blog Bird-On-A-Wire on August 17th, 2010 – transferred here on May 26, 2011)

June is Bike Month

June 16, 2010

Salutations! June just so happens to be bike month here in BC, and as a wonderful coincidence that I didn’t even realise until apres-purchase, I bought myself a(n old but) new (to me) bike today.

I’ve named her Blossom Dearie, based on the name of a Jazz singer I haven’t heard, but who I’ve heard of (I’m looking to change the having not heard her part shortly, but it’s really all besides the point), and who I heard Sarah Slean do a cover of in concert. I’m really just more enamoured with the name itself, as I think it’s just about the cutest thing ever, and when I looked at my bike on the skytrain today and thought of what to name her, there it was.

She’s a CCM Galaxie, and buying her meant I also had to (immediately after handing over the cash and walking away with bike beside me) learn how to travel by bus with a bike by way of the front bike rack. I’m happy to report it was a successful journey.

Though I’m a little sad to report that once I had her within city limits and tried mounting to ride her home down 10th Avenue from Commercial Drive, I was rather frightened to find that when I stopped pedaling to coast, then started pedaling again, there was no resistance and it took some number of turns to get back to pedal power. My roommates are both bike mechanics and one of them said he’d take a look at it. I just hope it’s none too serious.

I also visited three libraries today (Riley Park and Mount Pleasant in Vancouver, and Metrotown in Burnaby), bought myself the fixins for both tofu stir fry and apple crisp (though I intend to also throw in a peach and a nectarine), and perhaps most notably – bought a bunch of sunflowers as an early birthday gift to myself.

For some reason for the last two weeks or so I have been consumed with a desire to own a sunflower, as I’ve always wanted one since childhood, but my mother thought they were ugly and wouldn’t let me plant any in our yard. I’ve been going through a bit of a quarter-life crisis of late as my 25th birthday looms, so I guess it just really dawned on me that I’m an ‘adult’ now and can make such decisions as whether or not to own a sunflower for myself. It’s so simple, yet profound. I suppose most epiphanies are, though. I intended to get a potted sunflower, and imagine I still will if I come across one, but I haven’t been able to find one yet, so now the five of them are on my coffee table in my new Value Village vase (also purchased today).

I have to say, this was a really great day. And I thought yesterday was pretty sweet, what with trading in some books I no longer wanted for some that I really did – Sleeping Naked is Green by Vanessa Farquharson, Yes Man by Danny Wallace, and The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. All I have to say is, Happy June!

(post moved from original blog Bird-On-A-Wire, originally posted June 16, 2010)