3.24.2009

trying to solve the riddle of having a bike on vacation...


when ever I go on a family vacation I debate about the bicycle
how am I going to get to ride a bicycle on this vacation?

two years ago when we took the kids out to Colorado I settled in on renting a bike at Winter Park when I rode the chair
there was only one day of riding... it was sensible... it worked out... it was practical
then last year when I went to a wedding in Santa Cruz it was rental again... this time it was for three days of riding... yet the rental option was still practical

now... I do not intend on buying a break away bike
nor do I intend on having couplers put on one of my various frames
the thought of boxing a bike and sending it via UPS has crossed my mind
but... things can be pretty pricey
then there is packing things and bringing it on the plane
not easy... not cheap... not convenient
so... I landed down here in Florida without a bike
well... what did I do?

day two on this trip I took a quick drive around to a few thrift stores
sure enough...
on stop one there was a bike
still went to stop two before making the purchase
then returned to stop one to buy the bike

GOODWILL DELIVERED!

for seven dollars and ninety nine cents/ 8.50 after tax I was the proud owner of a Murray Beach Cruiser
sure it was rusty and crusty
and yes... it is a woman's frame
but the price was right

it had two wheels and it rolled

a quick lube of the chain
raise the seat and check to see that everything was tight and I was golden
as it turns out the seat would not raise high enough to make a difference
and all the bolts are rusted in place
so... lube on the chain and seventy five cents to put air in the tires and I had a bike

SWEET!

I question whether or not the bike will be in the bike rack in the morning
but I am confident that I have already ridden my nine twenty five worth on this machine
already ridden the bike twice
two hour long hammer fests... that is sixty minutes twice
really just a quick look around Marco Island
a place where the wind is in my face no matter which direction I turn

there was initially some consideration to leave the island and ride to some trails just north of the Everglades to go for a trail run
but... the sea post height is so low that I do not think that it would be beneficial for me to really ride this thing for anything more than around the neighborhoods

the island has a good network of bike paths
where there are no bike paths the convention is to take to the sidewalk
there have been a few incidents were I have held my ground and stayed on the street
as the sidewalks are either filled with families or geriatrics
so... I risk my safety for consideration of others
then there is also the danger of riding on the sidewalk... a car could pull out of a driveway or a parking lot or of course... there are the cars rolling through and stopping after the stop sign and the stop line

for the most part there is no real traffic
this is a quiet little park of the world
not exactly small town quiet... yet no where near urban stress
so... I get passed in the usual fashion
some people pass fast and close
a few cars have done that classic fast and close pass where I just know that they are trying to teach me a lesson
but... I stay out of character
this is not my home turf
I cuss to myself and do not give anyone the bird
as I know that the car can be empowering
that old man trying to be tough could get offended to such a level that they decide to level me

as the cars pass fast and close I look at the drivers and I check the tags
the same routine as back home
many of these people are tourists in rentals and others are snowbirds
then there are the locals
many of the locals are old... this is Florida

one car honked a few cars back and then made the extra close extra fast pass
sure enough it was a blue haired man in a fancy convertible with the top up
I laugh to myself about his tough guy attitude
a high school girl could knock his teeth out with a bitch slap
a toddler could crush his skull with a wiffle ball bat
yet he has to flex he automobile muscle by trying to teach me a lesson by passing fast and close
his car inches from me as I ride the painted line to the right of the road while there are several of feet of free space between his car and the center lane
when he pulled into the gas station a few blocks after passing me I considered rolling past him obnoxiously fast and obnoxiously close
but I maintained composer and kept riding
as mentioned.... I do not want to be part of this guy's grill
nor do I want his tire tracks on my back
and I just want to get on with my day
not get into a shouting match with father time

so... each day I try to mix it up by riding the bike and running on the beach
tomorrow more of the same
it is good to have a bike
this bike was a score!
if it could only be this easy on every vacation
honestly... I have tried this before... this is the first time it has delivered
there were a few yard sales before the thrift store

4 comments:

Rob said...

Nice. MOst beach towns have rentals, but you'd be out 50 bucks or more for a week, though it might be in better shape and have a bike lock.

Me, I'd donate it back to goodwill at the end.

Yokota Fritz said...

I've thought about buying a cheap bike when I travel and then abandoning it when I leave; I've never found anything for under $10, though! Greatfind.

m e l i g r o s a said...

yea great find. I too always think of ways of finding bikes when I travel, if only people had a spare bike program, like couch crashing-thatd be a great idea. there is an unwritten code with visiting my friends they always say-oh my friend has a spare bike u can ride... Excellent.
Nice pandazilla shot, I like the shadow in the back
xo.m

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