Sunday, May 22, 2016
A new bike - finally!!
Some of you may remember that shortly after I arrived in the UK almost three years ago, I bought myself a bike so I could a) get some exercise and, b) get around a little on my own, without relying too much on my cousin.
It worked beautifully for a while, until only 6 months later when it was stolen from the train station. I'd taken to riding it to the station and leaving it locked up (in a 'leave it at your own risk' bike rack) and one day I arrived back to see only the front wheel remaining. I was pretty pissed. I reported it to the police, but the officer I spoke with said that the chances of getting it back were slim to none. While I appreciated the honest, it didn't really make me feel a lot better at the time.
Then my little car appeared and the bike slipped off my radar for a while.
I haven't really prioristed it either, until now (or really had the means). However, a few months ago I got a credit card and have been good about consistent monthly payments. They seem to have appreciated this, so they raised my limit about two weeks ago (a pleasant surprise). I bought new hiking boots last weekend for my trip to Ireland in September and today I went out to "look" at bikes.
Who am I kidding? I wanted to come home with one and I sort of did.
I knew what I wanted (see the photo at the top): an Ariel Specialised hybrid with disc brakes (they're a little more solid than the clamping ones) in size large (17"). After a brief look on my own and seeing a row of bikes that looked right, I got some help and was led right to it! The only difference between the bike I bought and the one that was stolen is the colour. My one's white with turquoise writing on it, the old one was what they called 'blackberry' (more eggplant colour, a lovely rich, dark purple). So while I'm sad about the lack of colour, I'm very excited that I have a new bike.
Yes, it did go on my credit card. The interest rate on that sucker is somewhere around 35% (newbie credit builder), but I've set up a recurring monthly direct payment to ensure that I neither miss a payment nor carry the balance for too long. I realise that I would be better off to plan and pay for these things in full, however, but I'm also still throwing cash at my debt in Canada. Slowly but steadily that's coming down, too, and I'm quite pleased with my efforts all round, if I'm honest.
I got some new accessories (new pannier rack, lock, mud guards and bike rack for the car; still have my helmet and panniers from last year, fortunately) although it won't be ready until Wednesday, which means I'll need to arrange to leave work over an hour early to get there on time, but I don't believe that will be a problem.
Tomorrow I'm going to scope out the bike rack at the station. It's been a while since I've even looked at it. If I'm not comfortable with the way it's set up, I won't ride there and will leave the riding for evenings and weekends instead.
I missed riding last summer, so am really thrilled that I can do it this year. I bought the bike rack for the car so I can go a little further afield with it, although there's plenty around here to start.