Le Bike

We downgraded to one car back in November. This was part of a “cut expenses” initiative and it was wildly successful. (Or, it has been, thus far.)

Part of that initiative includes figuring out how to get us both to work with only one vehicle and no public transportation. At all.

Small rural town. No public transit.

One solution that appealed to me (because I work only two miles away from where we live) was commuting via bike.

This is tricky in SWTX, because (perhaps you haven’t heard?) it gets incredibly hot here.

But I can cross that bridge when I come to it. One of the pluses of where I work is that there’s a gym, and showers. Also the route there is flat, so there wouldn’t be THAT MUCH sweat at 7 a.m. in the morning. (It’s quite dry here, as well.)

Anyways, I was in the market for a bike. A simple bike, suitable for carting quite a bit of stuff around, and also fashionable, because the one road I’d be riding on for nearly the entire distance is the road every single employee rides down and I must appear to be fashionable.

At all costs.

I found this bike, from Firmstrong in Hermosa Beach in CA and I was SMITTEN. I lusted after it HARD.

le bike (bella by firmstrong) | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.comLook at the matte black! Look at the mint green!!

But the cost I was NOT smitten with (cruisers are the cycling world’s runt, after all), neither was I enthusiastic about assembling a bike myself. Hubs could manage it (easily, he’s into bicycles) but I certainly could not. And I was worried about the state of our wedded bliss should I order a bike for me that he would have to assemble… with me looking over his shoulder.

So I went and bought this thing from WalMart. For cheap.

le bike (huffy from WalMart) | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com

Now, granted, this is a neat looking bike. And I have the panache to pull it off. But as I was walking through WalMart with it, four different people (in a matter of about three minutes) commented on how cute the bike was.

Okay… maybe…

The last lady who commented on the bike took note as I was checking out. Her exact words were:

Oh how adorable! That reminds me of my very first bike!

So I left the line, went into home-goods and picked up a few cans of spray paint.

And this happened…

le bike | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com
Wheels came off…
le bike | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com
First coat of matte black spray paint.
le bike | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com
Many partial-coats later
le bike | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com
Fully painted, with the (original) flower-covered seat still attached.
le bike | a post from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com
final product, complete with rear rack and basket installed

NO ONE here uses a bike for general transport and only a few brave souls use bicycles for sport or exercise. I suspect I will be quite popular (aka: a spectacle) at work for a while until folks get used to it.

I also felt that it would be better to look badass than cute if I’m going to be doing any trailblazing. You know?

Now all I need is some sharp, hipster panniers (or maybe a suit bag) for that back rack and I’m good to GO.

Any tips or stories regarding commuting on a bicycle? (I’m looking forward to this.)

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5 thoughts on “Le Bike”

  1. That is one nice ride!
    A flickering red light on the back of a black helmet will aid against concussions – especially while riding in traffic with those pesky commuters who are addicted to texting.

  2. I have really been enjoying your blog! I never know what the next post will bring, but I always look forward to reading it. I access it through my Gmail mostly, so I’m not sure if that shows up in your stats. And of course Gmail makes it difficult to comment. Keep up the awesomeness!

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