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biiiiiiiiicycles. Here is the History Official between me & my bicycle---

I had a bike. it was a sad chain-superstore-bike my grandparents got me and I rode it around occassionally the first two years of college. when I moved off campus I had to ride it more often and unsurprisingly it got stolen (as it had a terrible lock). I was not super sad about this because I was never very attached to this bicycle. It was red. 

I did not buy a new bicycle right away. I had a bunch of friends in the Tulane Benevolent Societyfor the Propagation of Assorted Tomfoolery and Other Sorts of Peculiar and Otherwise Absurd and Baffling Nonsense (really guys? is that your only website? that and a facebook group? And Phil Schapker is still listed as your contact?), also known as the Juggling Club, who are also in charge of bicycles at Tulane. I don't know why either. They just decided. There is an official Tulane Cycling Club, for people with carbon-fiber bikes and racing uniforms and sporty racing things, and we make fun of them and joke about chasing them around and beating them with our U-locks. I say we. I have staunchly denied being a member of the Juggling Club at every meeting I attend and I still say we. Sigh. 

Anyway, for some reason the Juggling Club runs the bike help desk. TUPD confiscates all bikes left on campus over summer, and they gave them to juggling club, who rented them out. So for $30 I rented a bike for the semester from my friend Phill (now the Tallest Man in Cambodia) and rode around a cruiser, a High Flyer, spray painted this awful shade of green with white stripes (thanks Juggling Club), until I got hit by a car at Thanksgiving. I was thus bicycleless for the rest of the semester. 
 
At this point in my life I knew three things:
a.) I wanted another bicycle
b.) I wanted it to be sparkly gold. 
 
To be clear. In March, just after Mardi Gras, I bought another bicycle--the lovely, lovely Torker U-District, from Gerken's Bike Shop on St. Claude. It is a lovely bicycle and I love riding it but it is not gold and sparkly. SOMEDAY, when this one wears out, or I buy an older cruiser with a bad paint job off Craigslist, I will sand it down and take some outdoor vinyl from my mother's graphic design shop and I WILL HAVE A SPARKLY GOLD BIKE. I just need to get this off my chest now. 
 
the Torker is a great bike but it is not perfect. It has several perfect features, liiiiike--
a flip flop hub. I did not know what this was when I bought the bike. In fact when I bought this bicycle I knew nothing about bicycles! Almost nothing!  I have three friends who are very knowledgeable about bicycles (aforementioned Phil & two others) and a significant other who is slightly more knowledgeable than I. By our powers combined....
 
New Orleans is a city full of bicycle commuters, and in the parts of it I bicycle through there's a really strong DIY attitude about bikes. I had a weekly standing date at Plan B, for example, the free bicycle clinic that I highly recommend you go to all the time ever just in case your bicycle might ever need anything. (I may write them up later more extensively). This means you learn a lot about bicycles and how to fix them when they are broken pretty quickly. If you can't change your own tube when you get a flat you cannot really survive in this city, much less bike over Jeff Davis. 
 
So I learned about my flip-flop hub quickly. In short, a flip-flop hub has room for gears on both sides. In my case, I have a 16-tooth single-speed freewheel on one side, which is the typical pedal-and-coast thing, and a 16-tooth fixed gear on the other. 
 
I am not nearly cool enough to ride fixie and I do anyway. My trackstands are abysmally short-lived. I am working on it. By the end of summer I'll try to get them down. (breaking my ankle kind of stopped all the practicing I was gonna do in june & july.)  My bicycling long-term goal is to ride to the beach, camp overnight, and ride back. 

I love this bicycle but I  am doing some things to it, which I'll tell you more about once I do them. With my first real paycheck of the summer I got myself a back rack and am soon ordering some straps for my pedals (please ride strapped/clipped in on fixies, it is much safer. Do not do what I did and ride around for three months without them), and eventually going from straight to drop bars. Sometime in August. 
 
and someday. Someday. Someday, I will have a gold bicycle. 
 
 
 

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Nicole

March 2013

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