So, I've had a cruel induction to city life: my bike was stolen this week. It was a nice red mountain bike (i've since been told that they are the most attractive to theives). Along with it i lost my saddle bags (in the below photo of the trip to the market), a really great bell, and the lock which was cut. i'm pretty sad about it. its been my main from of transit for 3 years now, i was a good, solid bike. plus, being on a tight budget makes unexpected loses a bit stressful.
Not investing in a good quality U lock was my first mistake, because my cable lock was easily cut. my second mistake was leaving it overnight in the parking lot of my building rather than carrying it 2 flights up the fire escape.
after calling my mom and wailing when i found my bike missing in the morning. i walked to my french class. during the break i was chatting with some classmates and told them about my bike. two of them turned out to be avid bikers and were really helpful giving me lots of advice about what to look for in a new bike and how not to have it stolen.
yesterday i started and completed my search for a replacement. i scouted out a couple of bike shops, then turned to craigs list. on craigs i found a couple of listings from this shop called Disco Velo (velo means bike in french).
i gave them a call to get directions and then ventured out to find the place. their "shop" is loced in a shady industrial building between the plateau and mile end. i really nice elevator repair man helped me find their place, which was on the 10th floor. basically its a room that a couple of young guys rent as a bike shop. the go to dumps and sales and buy vintage bikes and parts and then reassemble them. as far as i know, the only way to know about the place is through craigs list or word of mouth. they have about 10 bikes ready to go and for sale at a time. the shop is quite memorable- at the back they've got huge piles of records and a couple of turn tables and being on the 10th floor, there's an awesome view of the city. the two guys that were there working were equally memorable. they were both incredibly nerdy, but in this hip, 80s, mechanical way. one was wearing an 80s teal and purple shirt and sunglasses that matched. they were supper nice and helpful, and even give me a little lesson to how bike gears work.
I ended up buying this bike.
i'm pretty happy with it so far. i need to get the seat raised a bit more, but other than that, the brakes are good, the gears are good, its light enough to carry up to my fire escape and ugly enough that i don't think it will get stolen too quick. i also invested in a good german U lock. i know this sounds cliché, but even frustrating, difficult experience you can find places to learn, grow and explore (and meeting groovy people).
tomorrow, if its not raining, i'll take my new ride to the market to get some summer squash to make Erin's Puréed Butternut Squash Soup for our thanksgiving dinner sunday (it delicious- look for the recipe in my October 2006 archives on this blog).