Geared Up for Frustration

There’s no doubt about it, Boise is a great town for bicycles. Now while one doesn’t see the waves of two-wheeled humanity one would expect in places like Beijing, bicycles remain very popular. Yup, that includes the occasional motorized bicycle.

800px-East_German_Autocycle_or_motorised_bicycle_,_MAW_Hilfsmotor,_Magdeburg_DDR_May_1990_-_Flickr_-_sludgegulper

Insane gas mileage. Under $1,000 new. 30 mph top speed. No special licensing required in Idaho.
Image credit: Felix O

Although I’m not ready for the motorized version just yet, a couple months ago I figured it was a good idea to get back on this bandwagon.

Turns out I’m still trying.

Growing up in the 2T I had a bicycle from about age four on. Until I got my driver’s license in the late 80s the bike was my main form of transportation. Accordingly I acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of city streets. Assuming your 2T neighborhood was built before 1990, chances are I’ve biked through it at least once.

Now that I’m older and (considerably) larger, in May I picked up a used mountain bike for $45 from the Idaho Youth Ranch on Orchard Street. It was a bit rough, but it did the job.

stolenbike

Yeah, not bad for under $50.

I didn’t get around to getting a lock for it right away. For one thing, there are probably upwards of 20 unlocked bikes in and around my condo complex at any given moment. For another, who the hell is going to climb up my steps to steal what’s obviously not a new bike?

Well on Memorial Day Weekend – not 10 days after my purchase – some jackass did exactly that. Because Memorial Day Weekend is a bad time for me for a variety of reasons, I didn’t even notice until a couple days later. Predictably, a police report turned up exactly bupkis.

I was out and about today anyway, so I resolved to find a replacement. Not about to be burned again, this time I bought a bicycle lock before even looking. See, I’m smart like that.

Back in May the various pawn shops and thrift stores around town were choked full of cheap used bikes. Today … not so much. As an example, the Idaho Youth Ranch on Orchard – which a couple months ago had an entire storefront full of bikes – didn’t have a single adult-sized bike in its entire inventory. Not one. My luck downtown and on Broadway wasn’t much better.

kidsbike

Although if you’re under six, the selection remains awesome.
Image credit: Dianne Yee

The pawn shops had better selections, but those selections were well out of my price range. Some of the bikes really were high-end models, but most of them were simply overpriced crap. The few I could afford were, um … broken.

oldbike

“Older than you are, and only $299!”
Image credit: Gardening in a Minute

I haven’t checked anything west of Curtis Road yet, so there’s still plenty of city for me to explore. Still, I thought I would have found SOMETHING today.

But at least I have that lock now, dammit ….

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