Saturday, June 28, 2008

And the bike I rode in on

As many of you have already been told, I purchased an electric hybrid bicycle* a three weeks ago. The plan was to immediately get it tricked out and start riding it to work as soon as I got it.

But UPS, my Uncle Cornelious' visit, and general business kept me from being able to get it all geared up until today. CH and I got up early this morning, took it to Budget Pro Bicycles, a super-duper awesome bike shop in Eagle Rock, and got it geared up with a comfortable seat, black basket, extra bike light, lock, hot pink Free Agent helmet, and of course an extra hotrod-licious Electra bike bell -- even though I'm probably too polite to ever use it.

The first trip to work immediately began to test my resolve not to give up on things so easily this year. Here's what happened within the first 15 minutes of my ride:

1. I spent ten minutes, trying to get it turned around, so that I could get it out of house. I never appreciated the ability to lift a bike until I got a battery pack that makes my new bike to heavy to lift by myself.

2. I dropped the bike, trying to get it through our gate. And everything in my basket flew out and landed in one of our garden's dirt patches.

3. I had to call CH in order to figure out how to actually turn on the power assist.

4. I got all lost and turned around, even though I drove the route first in order to figure out the safest and most simple way to work.

5. I stupidly left my purse open after consulting with CH, then had the nerve to be surprised when I hit a bump and my phone flew out of my basket and hit the asphalt.

But I did make it into work in one piece, and it was a lovely ride. Very cool to past through gritty Koreatown, DreamHouseville (aka Hancock Park), and the idyllic Mid-Wilshire area all in one go. Will post further thoughts, after a few more rides, but for now here are my initial impressions:

1. Love the color - reminds me of my time with the Derby Dolls.
2. Having a motor is absolutely necessary (for me) in hilly neighboorhoods.
3. I pedalled 10 miles, but with pedal assist I didn't get sweaty at all, which is awesome.
4. Getting through doors is the huge drawback of this bike. The battery makes it hard to negotiate into elevators and what not. And since I'm keeping it in my office, that's going to be an ongoing hassle.
5. I might need to get a Garmin for my bike.
6. I forgotten how bad I look in helmets. I mean just terrible. Still, I think I'll get some stickers for it.

More later.

*If you get an electric bicycle online, DO NOT purchase it from Toys R Us. They sent us the bike without a seat or a battery, then compounded the mistake with the absolute worst customer service, refusing to fix the problem, and saying it wasn't their responsibility. Luckily, the E-Zip manufacturer is in Cali, and they hooked us up with the battery that (we were supposed to get in the first place) no problem. Even if I have kids, I will never, ever shop at this store again. Full of hate.

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