Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bike purchase: how I'll spend my bike allowance

I started reading Ben Hewitt's 'Saved' yesterday and it does heartily to remind me that perhaps a weeks worth of my salary isn't necessary to buy a new bike.  Yes, they are shiny and colorful and oh so beautiful. But the downside is that they are also over $600.

Giant Via1 W $600
Giant Via1 W $600

And, honestly, I do know this already, but reading 'Saved' I am reminded - phew, just in time! - that the money I have is money I have earned in exchange for my time. My time is my life. My time is my energy. My time is something I can't get back (except in the form of dollar bills). When I spend my money, I am spending my time and my life and my energy. Once that money is spent, it ain't coming back.

My current bike is a metallic green, lady frame Mongoose, named Herb. Yes, I name my bikes. Herb and I were introduced back in 2007 at the end of the academic school year. In those days, come the end of May, students would leave their dorms for home. They would also leave behind the most useable, perfectly good detritus. I skipped over a lovely 3 speed white Peugeot and chose with Herb. (In hindsight, I should have taken both and fixed the 3 speed.)

After a nasty spill this April (completely my fault, nothing to do with my dumpster dived bike), I finally had Herb tuned up. $60 later worked pretty well. After three more months of regular commuting, though my 21 speed is down to a 3 speed.

Now in contemplating my next bike purchase, I have been looking at bike reviews on-line and bugged a guy at Hampshire Bike Exchange about what I should look for in my 18 mile, twice weekly commuting bike.  I thought I'd be buying new and start with a fully rigged bike that would perfectly suit my needs.

But I'm remembering now that when I purchase items, at least a quarter of my purchases bring a less than desired affect - something about them doesn't work to my satisfaction. So I'll be taking all of my newly acquired bike knowledge and reviews and keeping a list of what I want out of my next bike and a list of bikes that would suit my needs best. From there, I'll keep my eyes open for used versions of these darlings. I'll ride loads of used bikes at Hampshire Bike Exchange to find out for myself what feels right to me.

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