As I mentioned earlier, the problem with having multiple projects on the needles is that it feels like nothing ever gets finished. In addition to the slowness of knitting small bits on different large projects, one of the Denise circulars I was using for Aidez just broke, so that’s on hold while I’m knitting the edging for my beautiful, gray Celes.
Mostly right now I am excited about the weather getting warm enough — and the streets clear and dry enough — to ride bikes again. Around here, the weather is usually above freezing during the day, with a few over 50 F days happening every now and then. Perfect biking weather if you wear mittens (specifically, Elinor’s Mittens, which I would encourage you to knit if you want some wind-proof hand coverings).
Last summer, courtesy of a friend’s break-up and an unwanted gift, I got a free bicycle that was way too big for me. But I rode it anyway — slowly tipping over at stoplights — and started casually reading bike blogs, learning a little about bike maintenance, types of frames, bike gear, and bike-culture wars.
Thanks to those blogs, I realized a couple of things:
1) It’s ok to want your bike to look nice. Just expect to get mocked for that.
2) If you’re uncomfortable or feel unsafe on your bike, it is not the bike for you.
3) Bikes are expensive.
4) Gear is expensive.
5) I want at least three different bikes, all for different purposes.
6) Every hobby/community/activity-based group has assholes who will ruin it for you if you let them.
In February, I started combing Craigslist in earnest, looking for a bike that met my criteria (small, cheap, multiple gears, upright handlebars, fenders, not falling apart). After a few months of wondering how I could ever save up what I’d need for the perfect bike, I found one that met nearly all of my criteria. The one catch: no fenders. I bought it anyway and, after one small tweak to the gearshift (or whatever that’s called — I apparently have limits on how much jargon I’ll learn for a new hobby), it rides beautifully.
I love my new bike. It’s a Tyler brand — made in Poland in the 80s, 3 gears, upright handlebars, small frame. I need to add a few things to make it perfect, but nothing that’ll break the bank. I want to add fenders, buy new tires, a rear rack, and some kind of baskets or panniers. I also need to get a helmet, which is first on the list, but the least exciting purchase.
R is kind of baffled by how excited I am over biking. I want to bike everywhere, even places that we usually walk to. He sees biking as something utilitarian: a faster way to get from here to there. I see it as, first of all, fun, but also the first kind of exercise I’ve tried since I stopped dancing that I haven’t hated with the passion of a thousand firey suns (RUNNING). And after a winter that’s involved a lot of beer, cheese, and baked goods, and very little movement, any exercise is a good thing.