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Bicycle buying bewilderment!

I've been too busy buying bikes to blog! Blimey! Normally I'm a fairly cautious spender, but sometimes it's like I open the floodgates of my wallet and money just keeps on pouring out. I've already spent twice as much on accessories as I did on the bicycle itself (but that's more a statement on the low price of the bike than any crazy amount of extra doodads).

I set it off yesterday when I visited the latest in my tour of shops and rode their one and only used bike, a Bianchi Strada. I liked it, the price was right, and I decided to go for it. You can't swing a chain in the Twin Cities without hitting a bike shop; I had apparently decided that it would be a good idea to visit each and every one before making a choice. Instead I was just driving myself insane and overwhelmed by the selection. It was time to ride.

The bike has an understated elegance. I might take a photo when I get a chance, but it's nothing special to look at. It met my primary criteria: functional & cheap. That was enough to get started. Anything else is bonus.

And what a lot of bonus prizes I stacked on top of it. Buying a cheap ride meant that I had just that much spare change to piss away on other crap. Once I had the bike picked out, the first thing to do was I had to get a set of fenders thrown on; because face it, fenders are cool. I put them to work on that while I wandered around the shop and picked up a few essentials: pump, gloves, helmet (today I added a rear LED blinker light and U-Lock to that collection, but we won't mention those--or the chain lock, messenger bag, tools, patch kit, spare tire(s), safety vest and reflector tape that are on my shopping list for tomorrow*).

I messed around a bit with different helmets. After fiddling with one for nearly ten minutes trying to get the fit right, I came to my senses and decided to buy the helmet I had worn on my test ride, which fit perfectly after one quick adjustment. It was a little more than I planned to spend, but hey--the bike was cheap! Plus, a snug and comfortable helmet is an investment in the enjoyment of future rides and keeps the grey stuff inside your head if you crash. Remember, kids, Sui Generis is Latin for "Safety First!"

*or the stuff I don't really need per sé but can imagine developing a keenly-felt desire for in the future, like a halogen headlamp, computer, special shoes, &c.**
**don't even ask about the et cetera.

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