Recently I went to the tip shop and there was a bike inside the shed. Bob's yelling at me, 'Oh Sarah, take this bike. You can have it for five bucks. FIVE BUCKS!!! Look at the brand. Look at it this bike.'
He stepped aboard and pumped the front wheels. The bike had shockies so he was able to bounce this bike up and down on it's front wheels. This particular tip shop guy had managed to distract me from the red lady's bike that was of a proper vintage with a front basket and carrier, to a welded, factory bicycle, sporting only a water bottle bracket and shockies. Anyway, I bought it. Five bucks after all.
'Front tyre's a bit flat,' he said. 'But it's FIVE BUCKS.'
I've been more in need of a decent four wheel drive car recently, than a bicycle, because living 35 kilometres from the nearest town tends to make you need to drive everywhere rather than do the school or shop run on foot. But when the bar breaks at the inlet, there is this long beach to ride along. The sand is hard and I've often wanted a bike to ride along that beach.
I bought the bike with dreams of riding it along the shore ... but then I needed a bike pump for the front tyre. So the next time I ventured into the city, I went to the nearest bicycle shop.
As soon as I entered, I realised this was not that kind of hipster bicycle shop where kind, bearded men sold hot cups of cold-pressed coffee on leather lounges, while asking me to peruse their cargo bikes. No. These blokes were the enablers of the lawyer and accountant clique of cyclists. They came towards me in tiny shorts and with their hard, chiselled faces asked me what my business was.
'I'd like to buy a bicycle pump,' I said.
So they sold me this really expensive thing that looked like it was from outer space. I got it home, unscrewed the top (there's no tube here) and all the valves fell out and I couldn't work out how to put all the valves back together again. Apparently you can reverse the valves to release air from the tyre in this one trick pony.. Awesome. We used to do that with match sticks when I was a kid.
I was telling this story to a mate of mine yesterday. She looked at me, incredulous.
let's be clear here Sarah. You paid five bucks for a bike, right?
That's cool. And then you paid forty bucks to pump up the front wheel?'