What is This Thing on My Head?

It was a lazy day. Ryan left this morning and headed back to Philly. I headed straight home and crashed for 3 more hours.

But once I woke up, I remembered that I needed to work out. I need to get back on my daily training schedule. I havn't done a brick workout in 2 weeks... eek.

So I decided I would go biking. With our bike path still pretty much under water, I needed a new route.

It was 6 1/2 miles through downtown with the turn-around point being a local bike shop. I wanted to explore their new bikes.

Side story: I've had my Purple People-Eater bike since I was in 4th grade. It's a purple speckled Huffy mountain bike with rusty bolts and moody gears. In its prime, it was a vision in purple. Its rims were shiny and its gears were efficient. But, 14 years later, it's a mild disgrace.

I didn't want to say anything about it to my mom, because I knew she would try to buy me a new bike.

And so when I accidentally slipped to my mom this past weekend that my bike, well... sucked, the prophecy came true. Mom: "Start looking for a bike. It'll be your birthday present." Ha... never mind all those OTHER gifts I recieved.

So we started looking at used bikes. But it's hard to pick out a good used bike from a photo on craigslist. Plus, I'd have to make a decent drive just to check them out in person. And what's a good price for a used bike? Is $700 too much? Is $50 too little?

We found a bike going for $400 that was practically new. The seller claimed it had less than 30 miles on it. I don't know a whole lot about what makes a "good" bike or a "bad" bike... but almost ANYTHING is an upgrade to what I'm riding now.

Here's the $400 bike:

The catch is... he said he bought it for only $445. First off... that seems cheap. Does that mean it's a bad bike? Is it a good enough bike for a beginner like me? Second of all, it's only a $45 difference. Which got my mom and I to thinking... should I just suck it up and buy a new bike? Is the $45 worth getting it brand new and all mine? But if I get into the "new" department, am I gonna get swept away and end up with something more expensive?

There are SO many questions and very few answers.

So I thought a trip to the local bike shop might help me figure things out. So I hoped on old trusty (rusty) and headed off.


By the time I got to the bike shop, I felt good. It was a nice day for a bike stroll through downtown. I didn't realize how hard I was riding until I got into the store and took one look in the mirror. My hair was sticking up and sweat was pooling on my stomach and dripping into my eyes.

I glanced around at the road bikes they had on display and was horrified at their price tags... all $1000 and up. NOT for me. I was a beginner. A sweaty, inexperienced beginner.

But this beginner had another mission. I figured since I had come this far, I might as well buy a helmet while I was at it (4th grade was also the last time I owned one of those).

Apparently things have changed a lot since my purple speckled (yes, it matched my bike) helmet. The helmets at the bike shop were expensive and fancy. Large and pointy and one-size-fits-all.

After some awkward and probably stupid "helmet questions" for the store clerk, I decided on the cheapest helmet they had. And I decided on gray.

Since I had rode my bike to the store, I had no place to stash my new helmet except on my head. So I ditched the box and hit the open road.

... It wasn't until 2 blocks later when I glanced in the reflective storefront of a run down antique store that I realized how stupid I looked!

Are helmets supposed to make your head look this huge?! Are they supposed to have that stupid little visor on the front? Are they supposed to make your head sweat profusely?

Oh the things I go through. I feel like a total idiot wearing this.

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