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The "New" Bike

Currently reading, off and on: Booklife by Jeff Vandermeer

About eight years ago, I bought my first adult bike: a Hampton Cruiser Classic. I thought it was off-white in the bike shop, but when I wheeled it out into the sun, it was actually very light pink. It was beautiful and very heavy, but at the time, I had space for it in my living room and I drove an SUV that could carry it in the back. I am not a good bike rider, but I can pedal around a neighborhood and certainly on a beach bike path, so that's what I did for about a year or so.


Then lots of life changes happened, and I moved into a teeny apartment and had to lock the bike up outside, where someone immediately stole the seat in the night. Just the bike seat. ?? I also traded in the SUV for a sedan and then proceeded to keep moving from teeny place to teeny place, so that the bike (with a new seat) ended up locked outside my brother's house in the sun, where the handle grips melted and the very light pink color faded to a true off-white. Then it was moved into a garage, another garage, and then a storage unit . . . as the tires gradually collapsed and the innertubes died.


But this year, amid all the darkness of 2020, I somehow found a special deal on an apartment that's twice as large as what I can normally afford (which means it's a regular-sized studio, haha). AND it's in walking distance of the beach! Big thank you to the universe, for all kinds of reasons.


A friend helped me get my bike out of the storage unit and then I wheeled it on flat tires over to a bike shop around the corner from me, trying not to touch the sticky, melted handles. And as of yesterday, I have a fully functioning beach cruiser yet again! Plus a U-lock that is weirdly difficult to use. I'll get better at that.


Today I took my first bike ride by the beach in forever and I had a blast, but also discovered that I don't possess the leg muscles to ride up the slightest incline. (So what is the point is of all the squats I've been doing?) I'll get better at that. I'm quite happy to have the heavy old thing back again.

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