I miss my bicycle. Mind you, I still have it and nothing at all is wrong with it. But around our neighborhood there’s no way to go that doesn’t include hills. Lots of them. So my bike and I don’t spend as much time together as we’d like — except for when we’re at the beach!
Anyway, let’s talk about bicycles. If you’re in the market for one, there are two main ways you can find one that’s just right for you.
1) Buy a brand new bicycle.
I bought my bike new this summer. It’s totally adorable and I got compliments even when I was rolling it out of the store. Customizing it a bit with a wicker basket and a DIY basket liner made it even cuter and more retro fun. Buying new is a pretty easy way to go if you can afford it. Mine was under $200, which isn’t very expensive as far as bicycles go but you can certainly find one less than that – or a whole lot pricier than that, too!
The one I bought is a Huffy Regatta Women’s Crusier. It’s a 3-speed, which means I can actually (when my leg muscles and my lungs cooperate) manage most hills around here. But it has the style and comfort of a traditional cruiser bike which was the best of both worlds as far as my needs go. I’ve had enough time to ride mine now that’d I gladly recommend it. At first I thought the gears were having an issue, but something just wasn’t adjusted quite right. A quick tweak and Ken had it fixed.
Bonus helpful bike-riding tip:
For the benefit of all mankind (or at least the ones who ride bikes), I’m sharing a helpful lesson I wish I’d known before the first two days of our vacation: CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE! I know I could use more exercise but those first days I thought I must be downright decrepit. I just happened to mention that to the owner of the coffeehouse we’d ridden to, and she suggested checking my tire pressure. When we checked, my tire pressure was less than 10 psi — but it was suppose to be 50 psi! That made a WORLD of difference and subsequent rides were delightful.
2) Refurbish a vintage bicycle.
Kathryn’s bike is a 1970’s-ish model found in her grandparent’s basement. Her dad fixed it up and repainted it, and had a few adjustments at a nearby bike shop. The result is a one-of-a-kind bike, right down to the pedals that turn more purple the more the sun hits them. How fun is that!?
Total customization is one benefit of a refurbished bike. Cost can be a benefit, too — but depending on the condition of the bike and your familiarity with bicycle repairs and such, you may need the help of a professional bicycle repair shop so it would be a really good idea to get estimates before starting a refurbishing project.
Great for families: WeeRide Co-Pilot
This thing is the best thing since sliced bread. It literally stopped traffic with is awesomeness. Seriously, people in cars would slow down to talk to Ken and Jim about it! It’s recommended for ages 4 – 9 and accommodates up to a 75 pound rider.
Essentially the WeeRide Co-Pilot bike trailer makes a regular adult bicycle into a tandem bike with a kid-sized second row. This means our 5-year-old, who hasn’t learned to ride a bike yet, can still get the fun of riding and even learning to pedal, but without having to be in charge of steering and balancing.
Actually, once we started riding at the beach, we wished we had two of them because Scout is very new to bicycle riding and was SLOW. If we’d each attached a kid to our bikes, we could’ve gone on longer, faster rides.
In short, the Co-Pilot is highly recommended!
And just a quick mention of the Nirve men’s bike. Ken took his bike with us on the trip, but when he saw how the much nicer loaner bike at the cottage, he rode that all week instead. Now he’d really like to buy a Nirve bicycle for himself! The one he rode was similar to the “Kilroy” model, but I think the exact model has been discontinued.