i always mean to go to the farmers' market on saturdays, but the truth is saturday mornings seduce me into other things, like reading the globe and mail on the front porch, or catching up on wordscraper, or sitting on the deck feeding peanuts to the bluejays. the thought of navigating a crowd of smug edmontonian locavores is always enough to send me straight back to bed with a second cup of coffee.
come sunday morning, of course, i'm full of regret and find myself schlepping to safeway, which is always, always more depressing than anything i might have run into on saturday. i kick myself, resolving anew that next saturday really will be the day. cue weekly cycle.
but this saturday actually was the day, and and i set myself up for it by getting the right equipment: a new bike.
actually, it's not really new. i finally relieved my mother of her 1974 peugeot girl's bike and took it to redbike. "pimp my ride!" i said. (actually, testimony to the fact that i have truly become an old fart, i said "pimp my bike!." one of the guys corrected me.) they tuned it up, replaced the brake cables, and put on new wheels; when i picked it up i had them throw on a little black bike basket and a bell -- and then they charged me $122.85. just so you know i'm a moral person, i did argue with them about it at the till. i mean, the basket alone was twenty bucks. did i bring this bike in on free cable day or what? they insisted that was the right price, so for what i normally spend on coffee in a month, i had a whole new way to get around.
and boy is it great. it's heavy and black and substantial. it's cool. and it's fast. i've had mountain bikes for the last few years, and skinny tires make a huge difference. i love sitting more upright, too. it's what you want in the city, to be able to look about you a little. this is the first "girl's bike" i've ever had, having disdained them my entire life to date on the basis that -- well, that they're for girls. but i find the retro dropped bar actually quite charming. i can never find the gear shift -- it's down on the upright, not within thumb's reach at all -- and in any event there are only ten gears, not the 27 i have on my mountain bike, which is kind of a relief. i mean, seriously, what casual biker uses 27 gears?
best of all, it comes with an unexpected whallop of self-satisfaction. every time my heart thrills to my new commuter bike, i think, "it cost a hundred dollars! and it's recycled!!"
today was the big test: the downtown farmers' market. i dug out the ancient canvas panniers my mom offered me a few years ago, the ones i accepted mostly because of their ebay resale potential. they're heavy and black and perfect for the ole peugeot. i set off, feeling very cosmopolitan right from the start. but once i filled those puppies up with organic produce? shit. i was downright annoying. i mean, think of it. is there anything more virtuous than the lesbian loading duck eggs (less alkaline! more sustainable!) and heritage greens into 1970s saddlebags fixed to a recycled bike?
i can hardly stand myself.