(This is from an e-mail I sent some months ago. I’d hoped to be able to use it later, but have yet to find a place for it, so enjoy.)

So I decided to buy a bike in the vain hopes of riding it to campus every day (in order to save money, lose weight, and build muscle). Unfortunately, I had to buy a bike in order to do this.

As I did not wish to support ‘the man’ (Maurice A. Gibbons, you can see why he goes by ‘the man’ now), I refused to go to Wal-Mart. Instead, I went to the local toy store that was having it’s ‘going out of business’ sale (thanks to Maurice).

I went there, and they were almost out of bikes, so I grabbed the last presentable 26″ bike and took it to the pay register where the lady reminded me that all sales were final. I said ‘sure. Why would I not want this bike?’

I bought the bike and walked it over to my automobile when I quickly realised a small problem: There was no way that bike would fit inside my car. I had to ride the bike home. So I did.

I rode in the middle of the night, through bad neighborhoods I was unfamiliar with, and in an uncomfortable bike. “Damn,” I realised. “I bought an uncomfortable bike.”

Also, I was lost. And there were neighborhood children pointing and laughing at my impending doom and obvious inexperience in riding a bike (I forgot!).

Finally, I made it home where I had another realisation: my car was still parked at the toy store. I walked back the four kilometers through the poorly-lit ghettos until I arrived at the toy store, miraculously unscathed. I drove home and went to sleep.

The next day, I decided to ride my bike to work, so I got up early and rode the two kilometers in relative peace until right before I arrived on campus. It seemed my bike was much harder to guide for some reason. I looked down and nearly cried: I had a flat tire.

So I got off my bike and walked it to the bike racks outside of the office when I unfortunately learned a truth of bikers: they have bike locks. I could not leave my (now flat) bike outside on the racks because it might get stolen (sure they’d have to walk it away, but the point remains).

I took the bike inside and hid it in an empty meeting room, hoping I wouldn’t get in trouble with my boss. Two hours later, she showed up riding her own bike and parked it in the middle of the entrance to the office.

That night, I went bowling with my friends and they dropped me off at my apartment where I immediately got into my car and drove to ‘the man’s house’ (Wal-Mart) to buy a bike lock. I drove back to the office and realised another sad irony: the bike lock I’d bought would not fit the bike racks we had.

I drove back, traded the lock, and bought a new ‘unpoppable’ bike tube and a bike pump. Then I drove back to the office and tried to change the inner tube until I realised that I had to take off the entire back tire in order to do so. And I had no tools. I locked up the bike, went home and cried myself to sleep.

That week, I went to the local bike shop and asked for a wrench. They advised me to buy a 15 mm wrench, though probably from a hardware store, because their tools sucked (I suspect the attendant was trying to go an entire day without selling anything).

I went back to Wal-mart and bought an ‘all-in-one’ bike thing that claimed to be the ‘only tool you’ll ever need, guaranteed!’ It wasn’t. The tool collapsed every time I applied pressure to it. A disgrace to wrench and wrench-enthusiasts everywhere.

So I went to a hardware store. Unfortunately, their wrenches were American. The closest I could find was 9/16ths and 5/8ths. And guess what?? Those wouldn’t work either.

So now I have a bike at my office that I have used twice and cannot transport. I also have a hell of a lot of bicycle-related paraphanelia that I cannot use. And that’s not the worst part. The worst part is why the neighborhood kids were laughing at me.

Apparently, the bike I bought was the last one left for a reason. It’s a woman’s bike. It’s seafoam green and silver, designed with the woman in mind.

And all sales are final.
They’d have to be.

The store doesn’t exist anymore.

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