I bought my first bike in almost 20 years on Memorial Day this year. I lusted after one for years, envisioning myself in Paris on a sassy little vintage cruiser, a wicker basket full of flowers and a baguette decorating my handlebars…very similar to the fantasy I have of cruising through Rome on a Vespa, actually. It didn’t help that when we actually went to Paris, I saw chic French women on bikes everywhere.
In reality, I was afraid to pull the trigger on something so expensive when I wasn’t sure what kind of use I would get out of it. I kept my eye on Craigslist, but the kind of bikes (well-made, safe, not from a big box store) my husband wanted me to get were still too expensive. I understood his reasons behind wanting me to pay more for a quality ride, but that didn’t make my want-it-right-now self very happy at times. Cruisers go for a premium even used; the good ones get snapped up quickly, leaving only Wal-Mart Schwinns and Huffys. I didn’t give up, though. I was determined that I would find the used bike of my dreams, so I set up some searches on my Craigslist iPhone app and checked them a couple times a week. My tenacity paid off when I spotted this bright-colored beauty…a sweet Electra Cruiser 1 for an equally sweet price.
Her name is Esmeralda. Since her purchase, she has lost the pannier baskets (not a good choice when her storage is upstairs!) gotten adjusted to my height, and awaits the end of the evil Texas summer before we can become true BFFs. We are in the middle of a long, horrible stretch of 100+ degree weather and it makes being outside truly miserable. I can’t wait until the weather cools down a bit so I can enjoy being velo-mobile. I plan on outfitting her while we wait with a front quick release basket, a rear rack, and maybe some chrome fenders. We are also trying to figure out the best rig to fit Esme in/on my Honda Fit for drives to trails that are out of riding distance from our house. I can’t use a normal trunk rack because of my spoiler and she needs some adjustments to fit in the back of the car.
Whenever get into something new, I start searching the Internet for blogs and forums that make me feel connected to other people with the same interest. I was thrilled to find many more blogs than I expected with a focus on girls riding the kind of bike I have while wearing fashionable clothes and having a great time. That is the kind of lady cyclist I want to be–stylish, laid back, and having fun. I’m never going to be a racer, serious road cyclist, or even a commuter (if we stay in Dallas, anyway), but I intend to enjoy my time on two wheels!