It was a beautiful day in Halifax today. 5°C and sunny, without much in the way of wind. This is amazing for the end of January, and I love it! I wish I could have been outside all day today, going to walks, bike rides and just enjoying the air. The ability to just take a day off is really the only thing I miss from my time at school, and usually the lure of a pay check is more than enough to make me shrug and just hope that the weekend is half as nice.
This past week I have been daydreaming about the upcoming spring and summer weather a lot though. In particular I have been daydreaming about buying a new bike. It has been a long time since I had a good bike to ride around town, although the memory of that one makes me yearn for a bike every time.
I was in grade four when I bought it. It was a grape coloured 21 speed Raleigh “urban” mountain bike. It was an adult sized bike and I had the seat right down at the lowest possible position, although it wouldn’t stay there for long. I spent a whole afternoon in the local bike shop with my father and brother, while both of them tried to talk me into buying more bike than I needed. My brother was quickly becoming obsessed with mountain biking at that time and thought I should be paying more attention to the type of derailers I was getting, while my father just seems to think I deserve to always get the best of everything. However, I was paying with my paper route and babysitting money and I knew what I wanted, and I was not going to be pushed into a snap decision I might regret.
What I wanted was:
- a good quality bike, that I wouldn’t break,
- wouldn’t be too likely to get stolen,
- Had at least 18 speeds and could be used in triathlons, but not mountain bike races,
- was comfortable (ie. Was not a road bike as the seating position of those always hurt my back),
- looked good (yes I care about the design).
Not much has changed, oh except I no longer care about competing in triathlons. During my current search for my perfect bike I again went and spent a lot of time in a bike shop. Although, instead of my brother and father pushing me towards the more expensive bikes I had a helpful, but obviously biased towards the finer things sales clerk. However, much to his dismay I’m sure, I again approached this like last time by finding the bike I wanted and then walking away.
Yes that’s right, I found exactly what I wanted: A 2012 Trek Allant WSD in a 20″ frame. And then left it there.
Like last time, the price tag displays a bit of a larger number than I went in thinking I would like to spend. Also like last time, I can still afford it. So, why would I leave it there? Well I am a saver and I want to make sure that my opinion doesn’t change in the next couple of weeks (which I would be delusional in thinking will remain as nice as this morning was, so there is no lost enjoyment time). I can spend the money, but I have to make sure that the perfect bike is what comes home with me.
I also have a secondary motive for walking away. I want to earn it.
Do you remember the joy of finally walking away with the lusted after object after counting your pennies and saving your allowance to buy it for yourself? I do. I got a paper route at age 6 and patiently waited for a year and a half to buy my own piano, myself. I still have that piano and I love looking at it, and occasionally sitting down to play (I really need to actually play that thing more!). Well I did the same thing with my perfect bike in grade 4. I had the money, but I wanted to earn it specifically for that bike and in my accounting I was a little short from the time I had decided to buy one. The joy I had riding around the neighbourhood on that bike for the first time was well worth the wait.
I remember all this so clearly that I have decided to take another page from my younger-self (even if I no longer went by Misha at that time). I am going to be dedicating some of my savings every paycheck towards this bike, so that I can go get it and reclaim that joy.