Just Call Me Carmen

I’ve been dreaming of buying a new bike. I gave Esme away because the fit wasn’t right and after spending weeks of my life on Ruby, I wasn’t willing to ride with a cramped bike. Riding Ruby to work isn’t practical for a dozen reasons, namely clipping in, leaving her downstairs in the bike rack and having to ride her on the street. Sweet Moses, you wouldn’t believe how many people I know who have been hit by cars lately, including one man in front of my running group this week. A car pulled right in front of him and we watched him hit the pavement. Phoenix must be the worst city for cyclists.

Electra Townie -- new love

So, I haven’t been wishing for just any bike, but a dreamy, pretty, comfortable, stylish ride. Isn’t she glorious? I could ride her on the sidewalk when there isn’t a bike lane and wouldn’t worry as much about losing this investment vs. her older, much more demanding high maintenance sister. She’s also one pricey mama. At $500 after taxes, the basket and lock, it is the equivalent of 12.5 weeks not filling up my car with gas. The inherent frugal monster in me is screaming, “Are you crazy? Go to Target and get yourself a $100 beach cruiser and suck it up.” The realist in me is standing in the corner coolly whispering, “If you don’t love this bike, you aren’t going to ride it. So why bother with some cheap Target bike?” The environmentalist is hugging a tree chanting, “DO IT. You drive less than 15 miles a day. A bike would be a great way to make your carbon emission zero. And the weather is only going to get cooler. Do it!”

What to do. What to do?

27 Replies to “Just Call Me Carmen”

  1. The cheapskate in me would search craigslist until I found a bike I loved and would ride. Never settle for a cheap bike, you won’t ride it if you don’t love it. I tried to ride a single speed beach cruiser style for a while and did not like it, so get a bike at least with a few gears. I have a decent Schwinn that I got from Performance (Kyrene and Ray) for $250 with panniers and basket I have spent about $325. Here is my bike before the basket was added: http://www.mattandstephaniesblog.com/?p=39

  2. Do it. The extra money you spend on the bike you really like will just provide extra motivation to use it and continue to use it.

  3. Buy it! Buy it! I’m just a lurker, but damn, that bike is a hot ride and I felt like I needed to urge you to get it. Also, quality is important in something like this. It will last you much longer than a Target purchase.

  4. buy it. no sense in spending $100 on a lesser bike that you could be putting towards your dream bike. You’ll appreciate it and ride it more. Plus, you deserve it 😉

  5. Delurking to say buy it! I’ve seen others in blogland purchasing this bike and they all rave and love riding it. Can we continue to rationalize though? Didn’t the homebrewed moonshine save money on Christmas gifts? A little more cash towards the bike right?

  6. This isn’t the first time you have brought this up, so it isn’t a passing fancy. You have thought it through… go buy it and enjoy. The environment will thank you and it will make you happy 🙂

  7. Well, if her price tag means extra quality and not just good looks, I’d say definitely go for it. (We bought our oldest boy what I’d consider an expensive bike when he was little (a Trek)but it ended up lasting for three kids.)

  8. I say go for it! It will serve you well and 12.5 weeks is practically instant gratification for ROI. A cheap bike is going to need to be replaced sooner and be harder to find replacement parts for, should you need them. You could try to find a used one on craigslist or something, but I really think you will quickly get your money’s worth out of a new one.

  9. Oh–definitely buy it!! I have one just like it in pale yellow and LOVE it!! I did buy a beach cruiser first…$100+….wasted!!! Longing for cooler days here in NJ to pedal along on the great bike path 5 minutes from my house!!

  10. Oh Kelli, you have been BUSY! I say go for it too. I’ve been teetering on getting an electra for about 2 years now, and I’m still in love. I have yet to buy it yet though!

    I’m glad you had a good friend there to get your fatty tumor removed. I have a purplish cyst next to my ear, but before I found it it was a cyst and not a tumor it was a very scary experience. Glad you’re ok!

  11. Get the Electra! Seriously! I got a cruiser from my hubby on my birthday, and he got the one at Target. I wish it could have been the Electra I wanted because as cute as my bike is, it’s not the best made. Buy the best you can, you will be happier in the long run. 🙂

  12. Do it! I have that exact bike, except it’s orange with the daisy seat and bell and a metal basket. It’s the cutest bike EVER. But also? It’s the most comfortable and enjoyable bike EVER. It’s going to last you a long time. I promise – you will not be sorry.

  13. I say buy it Kelli. Think of the great shape you’ll get to keep(not that you have anything to worry about) because you’re riding your rockin’ new bike. I’d do it if I were you 🙂

  14. This is the exact same bike that I have been looking at. After trying out all of the similar bikes, including the $100 cruiser from Target, the Townie fit me the best and was the easiest and most comfortable to maneuver. Of course the price tag is putting me off right now. I don’t drive very far at all, but when I go out I have a few kids in tow or am heading to pick up a few kids so a bike right now is not a realistic mode of transportation.

    Get it, you will not regret it.

  15. Well, Kelli, I remember this same sort of discussion with you over a year ago when you were considering a new messenger bag. I said then and repeat now that you should do whatever makes you happy. If this new bike brings you joy, then go for it. Life is too short–make your life wonderful and fulfill your dreams.

  16. Buy the bike that you’re comfortable on and know you will ride. Not only will you make the best use of it BUT you’re going to get fitter (and it’s nice to have a small carbon footprint) Please buy a stack hat so your eggs don’t get scrambled.

  17. Over here a bike like that, a cruiser I think it’s called, is only around $250 or so. $500 is way out of my range any time. LOL. Never have that much in the bank. YIKES.

    I live in a college town where the VA Tech Hokies play football. Plenty of bike riders here, but where I live…it’s usually the bikers that are more “nutso”.

    Some over here, once they get on a bike, out goes the common sense as in (before you go from one sidewalk to another..you STOP and see if anything is coming firt.) Whatever happened to that good ole common sense?

  18. Sorry for the type-o. should have been first, not firt. You can tell I’m still half asleep at 7 in the morning. Coffee here I come. (decaf mind you) and I was far to lazy to brew my herbal tea this morning. Besides, McDonald’s coffee is far better than I can make with instant. I make terrible brewed coffee.

Comments are closed.