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Friday, March 09, 2007

Dork Bike

Dork Bike

I have been looking for a used bike to supplement my cycle-cross bike. I wanted something for getting around town, something that wouldn’t kill me if it became a theft statistic. I have heard thousands of warnings about how bad bike theft is here. I doubt that it is worse than any other place I have lived. I got a bike stolen in Florida when I lived there. I had one stolen in Seattle (although I got that one back and I didn’t even have to kick the dude’s ass). I still don’t want to leave my cycle-cross bike anywhere locked up. Today I picked up a used folding bike.

I live on the fifth floor with a tiny elevator so I figured a folding bike would be a good choice for a second bike. I paid little enough for it so if it gets stolen I won't slit my wrists. It is a little unmanageable to ride because it has both front and rear suspension which makes it really bouncy and unresponsive. The brakes are kind of shitty so I’ll have to work on those.

I feel like I am riding a clown bike or something. Everyone rides folding bikes here so I’m not too worried about the Simpsons “Ha hA” factor when I pass by the neighborhood bully. I’ll say this for it: It sure beats the hell out of walking. If nothing else, it will be nice to have two bikes when people come to visit. I couldn’t take another week of walking everywhere like when I first got here.

I rode down to the Albufera nature park this morning and got my ass kicked by a group of four hotshots on racing bikes. I don’t have any plans to by a racing bike but I don’t know how much more of this humiliation I can take. To be honest, these guys today looked like they could have destroyed me if I was riding a motorcycle so a lighter, faster bike wouldn’t have done me much good. Overall, I am very happy with my decision to go with a cycle-cross bike and there have been many instances when it was just the right bike for the job. Try going down a gravel road on a racing bike, or try riding on the highway with a mountain bike. Sometimes you have to compromise.

So I am already the owner of two bikes after less than four months here in Spain. That’s about par for the course for me. I had three bikes in Seattle but I can’t talk about them or I will cry. I hope all of you who have them now are making good use of those sweet rides.

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