Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Bike, Chelsea Girl

       When I found her it was just like a movie. Destiny. Fate. I had been looking for a bike for weeks, torn between spending money I didn’t have and the joy of owning my own bike. I’d scoured craigslist, searched ebay, even toyed with the idea of ordering a bike offline and trying to assemble it myself (which is not really an option considering I am minus a boyfriend, don’t live with my father or brother, and am not Rosie the Riveter).
      So a few Sundays ago, I was walking my defeated self to another expensive bike store to search for a suitable partner. I understand that a bike is an investment, and it is worth it to spend the money on a good product, but that’s not really an option for an impatient girl on a student’s budget (budget meaning I am always broke – hey, that’s life!) While walking downtown to make my rounds at the unaffordable, but beautiful bike stores, I passed the Chelsea Antique Market. On a whim I decided to rummage through the jewelry to perhaps lift my spritis. As I looked longingly at a very good Fendi knock-off and some great vintage Louis Vuittons, I saw her. Sitting unassumingly among the clothing racks was my sweet little red Panasonic Sport bike.
           I looked around nervously. Was it for sale? Why wasn’t anyone else running to grab it?! I made my move, placing my hand on her seat to claim ownership. Finders Keepers!

“$120,” said a man manning the booth.

“I’ll take it,” I almost yelled. “Just hold it for me so I can go get cash.”

At the ATM, I called my mom. She did a little internet research and, judging from what she found, the bike was selling around the internet for between $60 and $200. Some claimed it wasn’t worth more than $10, but others said they thought it could go for much more. I’d negotiate the price down a bit, I decided.

I purchased my bike for $100 in the end, which was exactly what I was looking to spend. Panasonic made these bikes in the 1980’s in Japan, and let me tell you, mine is still perfectly wonderful (for me). Not a spot of rust! I replaced the tubes and bought a U-Lock and a helmet and was off!

I long for the day when the huge paychecks I’ll be earning (how do I know they’ll be huge? That’s why I’m going to college, duh) will easily be able to buy me a fantastic racing bike for a few thousand dollars. But for now, my pseudo-vintage flea market find and I are perfectly happy!

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Jordan said...

I was thinking you should name her Chelsea?

What a find. You are that much closer to becoming a star tri-athlete!

Jordan said...

Well I see you've already named her Chelsea. What a cunning friend you have here.