Astrid’s Maiden Voyage

I took the huge shipping crate containing Astrid, my new bike (Yay! My bike) to the Bike Oven, my local bike co-operative, today for expert advice on reassembling it. I discovered two things:

1. A lot of guys who are into biking and neighborhood co-ops are really cute. I must file this information away to dispense to all my single girlfriends.

2. Bike fetishists (even the cute ones) are just like every other kind of geek–90% male and obsessed with gadgets and dragons. “Oooooh….is that a Brooks saddle?” “Can I look at your disc brake assembly?” “That Shimano gear hub must have set you back a pretty penny. Can I touch it?”

It took me and Mr. Foxypants four hours of constant question and answering with all the guys working away on their own custom bikes to get my bike together. And, wow, is she adorable! I took her for a test ride around the block before biking home. Even the homeless guys on the corner whistled and shouted, “Hey! Cute bike!” Who cares about having 8 gears and a hub-powered headlight when you’ve got the swankiest bike in the neighborhood? Yes. I’m shallow. At any rate, Harv, the resident guru at the Bike Oven was only going to charge me for three hours (they ask for a donation of $5 an hour for rent and community outreach) but I paid him for the full four hours and as my nice act of the day gave him a utility knife I’d brought from home to add to the community toolbox since they didn’t have one on hand.

I’d really like to get my life together so I can learn how to be a bike mechanic and volunteer at the Bike Oven. Being a bike activist in Los Angeles is something to strive for…and not just because I’d be the lone girl in a sea of cute boys.

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