Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In It for the Money! (Part 1)

Wheels. Pedals. Sweat.

Wind and rain. Wind and sun. More sweat.

Did I mention the wind?

Which came first, the challenge or the love? Doesn't matter. Can't separate the two.

I sold my first ten-speed, a Huffy, for $15 when I was twelve. Dad said I should ask for $15 or $20, so that's exactly what I put on the sign: "Bike for Sale. $15 or $20." He saw the sign as he turned into the driveway that evening: "So, son, which price do you think they'll choose?" Yeah, OK. I've always been monetarily challenged, at least mentally.

Six years later, my one true love moved across the country to attend college in my town. I bought her a bike. We broke up about the same time. Go ahead and say it: monetarily and romantically challenged.

Two thieves in Austin, or the same thief twice, absconded with two of my bicycles on two separate occasions. Steal my unchained bike off my porch once, shame one you! But twice? I know, I know--monetarily, romantically, and common-sensically challenged. (And for the mathematically challenged, that's not FOUR bicycles--just one per occasion.)

Unwilling to be bikeless, I spent $315 on a Peugeot Triathlon, a pump, and some pertinent parapharnelia. It rode like a rail. I was hooked, completely hooked. And these confounded contraptions have been costing me cash ever since.

Well, that is until I replaced my geriatric Mercury Cougar with a lean, mean LeMond Alpe d'Huez. 853 Reynolds steel. I'm a sucker for the steel rail appeal. But sucker or no, according to the "Real Costs of Car Ownership" calculator, I've saved approximately $47839.74 since the summer of 2001.

So when people ask me, "Why in the world do you ride a bike? Why don't you own a car?" I fib (just a little bit) and tell them it's all about the money. Guess it's time to address those other challenges now.

No comments: