29 December 2010

Riding A Borrowed Bike On Its Own Time

Dear Reader, I really want you to feel pity for me.

Yeah, I know, I'm spending the holidays in Florida.  And, in doing so, I avoided the Great Christmas Blizzard of 2010 (or whatever the media are calling it) that hit the Northeast.

But where I am, while it's lovely enough, it ain't South Beach.  Then again, I never really wanted to go there.  In fact, I never had much of a yearning to go to Miami, or to come to this state at all.  My reasons are beyond the scope of this post or this blog, but suffice to say that my parents are the reason I come here, to a place that's about halfway between Jacksonville and Orlando--and, for that matter, about halfway between Saint Augustine and Daytona Beach. 

Now, all of those towns except Jacksonville (which, frankly, I don't know very well and--again, for reasons beyond the scope of this post and blog--don't want to know very well), have much to recommend them.  The town in which my parents live is not without its charms, including some nice pedestrian/bike lanes.

So, there's some good riding here.  The problem is this:

Yes, this is what I have been riding.  My parents borrowed it from a neighbor.  While I appreciate that neighbor's kindness, I have to wonder how much she actually rides it.  I saw it two years ago, and it looked no more used when I saw again this week.

It's a very cushy bike: the sort of machine on which you'd float along on a boardwalk or around the golf course.  But try to ride it more than half an hour, or make it go more than about three times your normal walking speed, and this bike will ignore your efforts and continue on its merry but very slow ways.

It's not too bad when ridden on level ground (which, around here, is pretty much the only kind of ground) and with the wind.  But pedal against the wind, which sometimes kicks up along the coastline, and it feels as if you're riding suspended in syrup.

This is giving me incentive to order a Brompton.  Of course, if I were to bring it (or any other) bike down, I'd have to check it in.  Usually, I bring everything I need for a trip down here in a carry-on.

Well, I'm glad I have a bike to ride, anyway.  And this one makes me appreciate my own bikes all the more.


  1. Oh woooow! What a bike : )) Is that fur on the saddle, or foam coming out?

    I think a Brompton would be great for you, especially since there'd be no extra effort or space needed to keep it in a NYC apartment. Lilac?

    Oh, and why can't you take it onboard as overhead luggage, did they change the size restrictions for US flights recently?

  2. The last paragraph says it all. With carry-on fees, even a Brompton would be spendy for occasional use. You can buy a lot of daily goodies for that price.