Sunday, 19 March 2017

cost of business

I've been talking about transport a lot the past couple of months, and here we go again. This isn't about my aunt's car. I'm still tootling around in it, still causing passengers to blench (kind of like this guy) when I mistake 3d gear for 5th, or stop on a hill and start to roll backwards when I declutch.  Actually, a fair bit of blenching goes on during a typical outing.  I blench along with my passengers. I figure it's good for us.  Gets the heart rate up.

No no, this post is about my bike. 
 Just kidding. I don't own one of those. You know, I don't think I've ever even sat on one -- no no, wait, my one time pal Dean drove me home from a restaurant we both worked at, way back in the 80s. I remember now, I leaned the wrong way in the middle of a turn and we almost crashed.  That was my Easy Rider moment.

No, when I write bike I mean one of these.

Almost literally that kind of bike -- it's heavy and slow, with a coaster brake and no gears. I bought it on Kijiji last year. If it were red and a bit smaller, it would be the dead spit of my first 2 wheeler, the bike I learned to ride 50 years ago.

Toronto is a biking city. It has mediocre public transit and terrible traffic. And it's pretty flat.  Three seasons out of four, a bike is by far the quickest way to get around. I remember having downtown appointments a half hour and maybe 5 miles apart.  It was rush hour.  The TTC was too far away.  My boss offered taxi chits, but they would have been no good to me. The ONLY way to make both appointments was by bicycle.

So imagine my chagrin the other day when I found that my bike had been stolen from the rack.  (Yes, it was locked.) Chagrin but not a lot of surprise. Thieves are all around.  They have good tools. Gone in 60 seconds?  More like Gone in 3 breaths.  Lightweight, highly-geared, expensive bikes are prime targets, but even crappy ones like mine go.

Theft is the cost of doing business.  Which I why I buy beaters.  Even if I have to get one every year, I am still way ahead of the public transit user.

Next week I'll start trolling the internet and local bike shops for deals. For now, I'm back to public transit and shank's mare.  And my aunt's car.  There will be blenching...

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