The video I posted a couple of days ago was prophetic. Due to a lapse of judgment on my part, my bike disappeared last evening when I went to feed my friend’s cats. I stupidly left it in the front yard, behind a non-locking low fence/gate for about 10 minutes. I was heartbroken. I had owned the bike less than 4 months, and it was my dream bike – a beautiful orange color, a stumpjumper just like my last nice bike (which was stolen during a breakin of my grad-student cottage in Oakland while I was on vacation), brand new rack and waterproof panniers. Luckily I had removed the $200 in cash from the panniers just before my ride over!
Just as the lyrics say though, I need to get a new ride and keep pedaling. As much as I’d rather not have lost the monetary value of the bike, and would rather spend money on other things, I can afford to replace it, and must as it is my only wheels. And I must get a replacement this weekend to pick back up with taking my kid to camp. I am torn though. Gil had the same thing happen to his bike under very similar circumstances 4 years ago, and I was really careful for a while, but it wore off. I don’t trust myself to not make similar lapses in judgement. So partly I just want to get a cheap, beater bike and tune it up the best I can and go. But I’ve gotten pretty attached to a relatively light, smooth-running bike. A cheap 10-speed could fit that bill without the hefty price of another used Stumpjumper, but would be all but useless when the snow flies, and less than perfect on Anchorage’s rough, potholed, unpaved, and root-rippled paths. Then I have been wanting a cargo/long-tail bike for a while. I was going to eventually get an extracycle attachment for my old bike, but maybe I should just walk into the bike shop and plunk down the $700+ for a new Kona Ute. Possibly what I should do, and I shudder at the excessive consumption of it, is get 3 bikes. The Ute for kid and large item hauling, a beater mountain bike to keep studded tires on in the shed and pull out in the winter, and a beater 10-speed to ride on quick, childless errands around town. Any thoughts before I go bike searching this weekend? I am really nervous about putting down any real money.
Then there are the extras. If I get a normal bike I need to pay about $30 for a new trail-a-bike hitch and get a rack and panniers to be back where I started – up to about $200 for that…depending. If I buy the Ute I’d need to get some of those handlebars that fit on the seatpost for Oceano to hold on to during our commutes, and maybe some other gizmos to make that work.
Sigh. I hate buying things.
What I really want is a new bike lock system. Maybe a tough, thick wire that retracts inside a tube of the bike frame and is always with you, that you just pull out and around and click in wherever you are, just good enough for those quick trips in broad daylight. What I really want is to go back in time and not leave my bike out vulnerable. Let it go…let it go. A whole lot of anguish for a base material object!
Update: a google search has uncovered this ‘pit stop lock’ which may be exactly what I need for the quick stop. Just wish it was an integral part of the bike so I didn’t have to remember it every time or risk losing the separate piece.