Almost there...

Friday, September 29, 2006

Back on September Fifteenth...

The moment I knew things were all going to turn the corner was when the guy at the bike shop gave me a free bicycle.

Remember when my bike seat got stolen? I went to the bike shop on campus on Tuesday, looking for a new seat post and a seat. They had a post for me, but the only seats they had were not really weather-proof. They were lovely gel seats that would be great if my bike didn't sit outside in the rain. But it does. And really, that's what my bike is for - it's basic transportation around campus. And the seat post was $12.95 and the seats were $19.95 and the whole bike was $51 new. And they had a used bike (one speed, with coaster brakes) for $25. And I thought about how Rick had wanted to go bike riding around home more, and how if I took my current bike home, we could do that, and I could get the $25 bike for campus and if it got stolen I'd just replace it with another cheap-ass bike. So I called Rick and talked it over with him, and then wandered back to my desk with my new seat post, contemplating the other possible new bike, having told them I could only manage to get one bike across campus by myself and that I'd be back tomorrow for the other bike.

But the next day was crazy busy, so the day after that I get back to the bike shop, with Rick in tow, and ask after the $25 bike. Turns out, it sold yesterday. Drat. Okay, so off to lunch with Rick, myself mumbling about why nothing can ever go smooth. So, I go back to the bike shop, buy a nice gel seat for my current bike, and figure I'll keep looking for a replacement cheap-ass bike and take my bike home before rainy season gets into full swing. When I buy the seat, the guy behind the counter asks, "So are you still looking for a bike?" I say yes, but that I just don't want to spend much money on it because it will inevitably be stolen on campus because it has to live outside. He says, "Well there's this old professor bike on the rack outside. It's a Raleigh. You could have that." Puzzled, I ask a few more questions, then head out to the rack. It's this totally adorable 50's bike with 3 speeds, kind of beat up, but with fenders front and back, and it's small, like it was made for someone five feet tall. And getting on and off in a long skirt is a breeze, not requiring a big swooping leg swing. I'm in love. It's perfect. I go back inside and say, "Wait, you mean you don't want any money for it? I could totally pay you guys for that. That's a great bike." He says no, that the professor just wanted them to find it a good home. She got a nice new Raleigh from them and had been a good customer for a long time and so they figured they'd just pick someone to give it to. I was gibbering. I was thrilled. I hopped on my bike and rode back to the office. Rick followed in his car and took home my other bike (my beloved purple bike) now with a new seat and post and we get to go bike riding around the neighborhood on the weekend. And I get to tour around campus on this adorable little vintage bike that the bike shop gave me for free. And that was it. That was the moment when I knew everything was going to be okay.

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