On the Ride Not Taken…

With absolutely no apologies to Robert Frost, as that poem is totally overrated. I like “Something Like a Star” much better. Anyway, so here I am, down for the count. Healing, slowly. I have every reason to believe that I will, in fact, feel much better about life in general in a few weeks than I did before my surgery. But I have a problem I didn’t really anticipate. I have a bad case of Non-Buyer’s Remorse.

You see, I have this problem. I refuse to buy things I don’t really need, but would really like. I am not a collector of useless junk. In fact, I’m not even a collector of useful junk. I grew up as the daughter of a serious thrift store addict, and I will admit to disliking clutter. It still happens, but I attempt not to contribute. I’m the woman who routinely thinks: “I should wear those cute turquoise capris…” only to realize that I gave them to the Goodwill last year in an attempt to streamline my closet. No one else in my family seems to share this concern, and are happy to fill every available space with crap. My son has been known to save the wrappers for the rice crispy treats I put in his lunch, because I wrote “I love you” on them in Sharpie.

So a few months ago, a gentleman on Bike Forums put his vintage French constructor up for sale on Craigslist, for a price I could theoretically have paid. I “oooohed.” I “ahhhed.” I did not purchase this bike, despite the fenders with turquoise pin striping and the fancy silver chain guard. I kept photos of this bike in a folder on my hard drive, but I didn’t buy it. Someone else did.

Then up came the mint condition Japanese 50’s Skyway 3-Speed with the atomic headbadge, integral front rack and space-age partial aluminum frame that was dirt cheap and my favorite color (copper). Despite Googling it and discovering both its rarity and relative niftiness, I ignored it, because I have a 3-speed. And when I saw the ad asking if anyone wanted to buy a prewar folding Japanese Road Puppy in mint condition, I also ignored that, because I have two bikes, and do not need a third.

Today, the French constructor popped back up on my local Craigslist, for much more than was originally being charged. As far as I can tell from the far inferior new photos, the current owner has done nothing more to earn this bonus than assemble the bike, slap some new tires on it, and hold onto it for three months.

I know, I know. I don’t need another bike, much less a seventy year-old 3-speed. But I do think I’ve learned something about myself: I like bikes most when I’ve passed up the opportunity to own them.

Good thing I don’t feel the same way about boyfriends!

That is the bike when I first saw it.

If someone would like to purchase it and put me out of my misery, it’s here:

http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/bik/2227503175.html

As usual, I will live with the regret.

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Love to ride my bikes!
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8 Responses to On the Ride Not Taken…

  1. monk says:

    While I share your affliction with “non-buyer’s remorse”, I suffer worse from “seller’s remorse”. As a bicyclist and musician, I mourn every bicycle and guitar I’ve every parted with. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  2. jerping says:

    nice bike indeed, very classic!

  3. adventure! says:

    I feel ya!
    On one hand, I already have “enough” bikes (four at last count). Each one different than the other, fulfilling a different niche.

    On the other hand, it’s hard for me to pass up some nice finds on ye old CL, especially if they are a type of bike I covet. I can afford a couple hundred bucks…

    But then there’s all these factors: I have a small apartment that is overflowing with bike stuff, and I shouldn’t be spending money on other bikes because I should be saving up for something important. And I’m not into conspicuous consumption.

    But then…

    I’ll stop now.

  4. rideblog says:

    One of the lovely Bike Forums members, who is living in France, is trying to help me get my hands on a real live vintage French bike. For cheap, even with shipping. I will keep you posted.

    I don’t need it, but sometimes it’s okay to buy things one doesn’t need, right? RIGHT?

  5. Darn it, that French bike is nice. I have a few acquaintances in France, and it’s been downright difficult saying no to some of the things that have been offered to me. But shipping a bike from the EU is a nightmare, so that itself has been a sufficient deterrent.

    I am inconsistent about clutter, insofar that I like some types of it but not others. My apartment is covered with books, finished and unfinished paintings, art supplies, and now bicycle parts, and that doesn’t get on my nerves. But I can’t stand having extra clothing, dishes or household trinkets around. I guess I am just not very domestic at heart.

  6. Auchen says:

    “I don’t need it, but sometimes it’s okay to buy things one doesn’t need, right? RIGHT?”

    – You always will need a French bike -( sometimes several!)
    – But like other things in life, (e.g., fame, fortune, popularity) the ones you desire, are not necessarily the ones you need.

  7. rideblog says:

    Well said, Auchen. Never desired any of those other things, but I think at this point, the right French bike will find me… later.

  8. Pingback: March 19, 2011 Ride | rideblog

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