Monday, August 07, 2006

Me and my 10 speed

I bought a bike! It is currently the highlight of my life.

Last week I walked into
Bikes Not Bombs in Roxbury and was met by a fidgety little bikestress (yes I just made that word up). She helped me pick out everything from my frame to my toe clips (which I didn't even realize I wanted) and in five short weeks I will have a refurbished bike that was custom built just for me.

Bikes Not Bombs is a really cool non-profit organization that recycles and refurbishes bicycles and send them to developing countries to provide people with an alternative form of transportation. They also train urban youth to either "earn a bike" or work in the bike shop. Anyway you can read up more on them by clicking the link above, but needless to say I was happy to shell out $200 for my bike and another $60 for my helmet, lock, and Boston bike map.

In my excited fervor I promptly put a Bikes Not Bombs sticker on my water bottle (I have recently started stickering my metal water bottle to keep people from thinking that it is a coffee thermos- which it technically is). The next morning I was in a meeting with my boss and purposely turned my water bottle so she could see my new sticker (I knew that she would recognize and be in support of BNB). Sure enough she took the bait and we chatted a little about the organization and how great they are. She asked about donating frames and I said I was planning on buying a cheapy bike off
craigslist (if you have never checked out craigslist you need to pull your head out of the hole and check it out) and then donating it when my new bike was ready. At that point she protested my decision and told me to just borrow one of the many bikes that was not being used in her family- amazing! That night my good friends Chelsea and Maria drove me over to Karin's place and then drove me and my bike home (I was going to take the T-there and then ride home but my "big brother" Mike kept insisting that he would never see me again if I enacted that plan).

So I have spent the last 5 days riding all around Boston on my nifty loaner bike. I have biked to and from work everyday and to and from my practice and game. The work commute is 4.5 miles and for a good portion of that I am on the Southwest Corridor- a sweet paved bike path. Then I hit downtown Boston and I hop onto the mean streets. Now this may seem scary, but I find it quite exhilarating and I am taking all of the precautions that I can to make sure my father's worst nightmares do not come true (I wonder if my Mom has even told my dad yet). I found this great
document on how to not get hit by a car, and much to my mother's chagrin it warns over and over that riding on the sidewalk is a quick ticket to hurting yourself (by allowing an unsuspecting car to hit you while you cross the street) and others (the moving target that is a pedestrian is not easy to avoid).

My commute takes me about 45 minutes and I save money (no T-passes) and resources (no gas, more room on the T for other passengers)- my old roomie Neda "Captain Planet" Sobhani would be proud!

Stay Tuned for:
Retail Therapy
Be a filter not a sponge Or Does anyone really know what to think about what is happening in the Middle East?


leilani said...

Hi Mel! I, too, am trying the joys of riding a bike (to rest the knees from the marathon). Recently, I went a bike ride to accompany a friend who is training for a half marathon. I failed to realize that my brakes were skimming my wheels and creating a WHOLE lota friction. I kept wondering why I was soooo slow. I couldn't keep up with my friend (who was running!) and little girls on pink mountain bikes were passing me up. Low and behold, andrew identified the brakes as my problem. Moral of the story--get your biked checked out and tuned up!

melanerd said...

Thanks for the tip Lei. Maybe we can be riding buddies when I make my triumphant return to cali

Preescy said...

That is so coool!
Bikes are rad and so good and easy to enhance your SELF in every way.
I rrrreally wanted to buy one this summer but for lack of funds I opted out. But I'd like to do it in Denver--any advice re riding in the freezing f-ing cold?!
And what about city riding? Dominique says that she, too, goes all out through the not-as-mean streets of D.C. Perhaps it comes naturally....

P.S. Carolina, post a comment, nena!