The crazy things I get myself into.

For weeks and WEEKS I’ve been talking about getting a bike.  I just kept talking and talking about it.  And himming and hawing. Then I texted. I emailed. I tweeted.

Still no bike.

At the beginning of summer, I saw this bike at Target and was immediately in love.

The Schwinn Gateway City Bike:

So many factors contributed to my love: the vintage look & color, the adorable little luggage rack, and especially the big comfy cushiony seat for my old lady bootay.

The other day, when I randomly checked Target’s website for the bike and found that it was gloriously on SALE I knew it was fate (am I the only one who interprets “sale” to mean “fate”?). I quickly checked the store inventory, and found the bike was SOLD OUT at all but one Target in the Charlotte metro…

Crap!

After work I sped-walked (speed-walked? Hmmm… how bout walked at an embarrassingly fast pace?) the 1.25 miles to the nearest target. I was hot and sweaty by the time I got there, probably due to the giant bag of work crap and lunch tupperwares I was carrying on my shoulder. I felt like a Black Friday shopper as I did the excited half run/half walk to the bike aisle… And there she was. The LAST bike of this model and color in the Charlotte Metro area. As I wheeled the beautiful bike triumphantly to the front of the store I realized that not only was I going to have to ride the bike 2 miles home, but I’d have to do it while carrying this GIANT bag of work crap on my shoulder.

Awesome planning. Awesome.

Once outside it dawned on me that I’d have to do something about all the tags if I was going to have any sort of street cred. I tried ripping them off, then sawing them off with my keys, and finally managed to remove everything BUT the manual, which I left dangling on the side of the bike.

I’m so cool.

About 7 minutes into the ride home as I was awkwardly fumbling with my giant bag o’ crap, I noticed I had forgotten to remove the big bright green paper display signs in the wheel spokes of the bike.  Soooo classy.

Two minutes later while riding on a particularly narrow patch of sidewalk on a particularly busy street I managed to side swipe a brick wall. Whose idea was this?!

It seemed like it took entirely too long to ride the two miles home. Google maps must have miscalculated the distance… Or, (more appropriately said) holy cow bike riding is hard.

Once home, I tried to finangle getting the bike through the condo entrance whilst holding my giant bag of crap by backstepping as I held the door with one hand and the bike with the other. Did I mention I was wearing flipflops during this excursion? Oh yes, flipfops. Well, as I was back stepping, my flipflop flipped backward, I stumbled and then proceeded to do a 20 second tightrope teetering act until my fight or flight instincts kicked in and I realized I needed to either save myself or the bike. So, the bike went crashing to the ground as I stumbled backwards recovering my balance. Lucky for me I had an audience during this whole fiasco.

Well hellooooooo there. I’m Hot Mess Mary. Nice to meet you!

After refusing to get on the elevator with the innocent bystanders and waiting for a solo ride, I wheeled my bike onto the elevator. When the doors opened at my floor, there were two new bystanders waiting to get on.  At the site of them, I got all flustered and proceeded to try and turn the bike around IN the elevator. I gave it three good attempts, wheels bumping into either side of the elevator, before realizing the bike was clearly too large to maneuver in the elevator, verbally declaring the whole situation “AWKWARDDDDD” and proceeding to ever so carefully backstep my way off the elevator.

After all that, I made it home. I have my bike, which I have already received two compliments on I might add Smile

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19 Comments

  1. sweet ride! i just got a 3 speed cruiser bike myself to ride to and from the train station because my road bike is too expensive to leave locked up there. it is red and i get compliments on it right and left! super fun to ride and makes me feel very european since it is so upright and the handlebars are so curved in (though it definitely was a challenge at first – also since i only have a front brake and then coaster brakes on the cranks).
    you should get a basket! (for all your work crap)

    1. I totally should get a basket. I’m not really sure how the little luggage rack thing works. There’s this piece that lifts up and has spring on it, but it seems like a need a crate or basket or something to stick on top of it…. hmmmm….

  2. Such a cute bike! I love vintage looking bikes. Your adventure sounds like something I would get myself into. After having my son, I often found myself in dilemmas where I had to choose between carrying the baby or my shopping. I chose baby, of course. 🙂

  3. I want a bike with a motor so I can get up the horrendous hills in my neighborhood with a little help!

  4. Love it! I had a cruiser for my first bike as an adult a few years ago. It was so hard to pedal that thing though! I got a new bike…still hard to pedal. Then I realized that bike riding is kind of hard! 😉

    Good luck and be sure to wear a helmet!

  5. Hi Mary, very nice post! The gateway city looks pretty cool – can’t help but love classic old bikes – but it was this time last year that I bought myself a schwinn 10-speed on Craigslist for riding around town.. and to this day, it still sits in my basement. Granted, it was not the candy-apple red that I had hoped for. Still, hope yours gets much better use!