The SP bought me a bicycle this weekend. It's red and has a bell. I think he's a little envious, actually. His bike is perfectly functional but it's older and has thick off-road tires.
Mine is what they call a hybrid, with slim but slightly toothy tires, upright seating and shock absorbers. Twenty-three speeds that you shift by twisting the handles, which is a lot cooler than flicking with your thumb.
It's a little odd, thinking of myself as a bike owner. A lot of people have them in my hippified college town; we'd talking about getting me one since I moved out there, so it wasn't exactly an impulse purchase. It was just kind of sudden--less than an hour between "Hey, let's pop in the bike shop," to "Let's take that one."
Bike technology has changed a lot since I was a kid, even I can see that. The frame structure is different, the thing is a whole lot lighter than any bike I've ever tried to move around (it wasn't much heavier than a large tricycle before they put the lock on; I think the Kryptonite lock weighs as much as the entire frame) and the wheels are a good deal larger in diameter. The whole apparatus has a graceful but compact appearance, like a sturdy little pony.
And boy, can it fly. It takes so little to make it move. Granted, I am not used to bike riding and that first big hill up to the campus was too much for me, but it wasn't the bike's fault. Twenty-third gear is amazingly efficient. And I felt great afterwards. That forty-five minute ride burned two pounds off of me by the next morning, and I'm not even sore.
So I guess I'll have to be all ecological now. The grocery store is about five blocks away, and probably quicker to get there by bike than by car, considering traffic.
She needs a name. I'm considering Penelope.
Oh, and even though I hadn't been on a bike in about 20 years? I hadn't lost the knack of it. I didn't crash even once.