Friday, November 03, 2006

The Little Things That Excite Me

Remember hearing Julie Andrews sing "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things..."

Sometimes it's the small things in life that you give you the greatest satisfaction. For instance, a couple weeks ago, my ex-boyfriend had his bike stolen. I loaded up his daughter's bike (she doesn't come here to visit any more) and brought it to him. He was pleased, and I knew that when he got another bike, he'd still have hers around so that they could go riding together.

But, I had been riding her bike with SaurKid (if you recall, I taught him how to ride recently). What to do?

I'm a thrifty shopper. I fail to see the need to buy something new if a used one will do. So, I kept my eyes open. Two days ago, I happened by a house with a sign up: "Bikes for Sale!" The guy's hobby is used bikes. He buys them in big lots, tinkers with them to get them in working order, then resells them. If a bike is missing a part, he undoubtedly has a good substitute.

I stopped, and we fell to talking. I didn't like what he had, and told him I was looking for something a little nicer. That's when he told me about a bike that was still awaiting new tires, which was why it hadn't been put out. It's an excellent brand-name bike that sells (when new) for $300-$400. It had been taken horrible care of and there were scratches and gouges all over the frame. I was a little reluctant, but he assured me that it was a deal at $65. He put on the new tires, and urged me to hop on and try it.

It rode like a dream! But I was still concerned about the way it looked. I asked if he knew anyone that did custom paint jobs on bikes. "Yeah," he said, "for a couple hundred bucks! If you are willing to spend that, I'd recommend you get a new bike." He had a good point. "Look," he said. "Go to the local drugstore. They have nail polish in all colors, with a built-in brush. Touch up the paint yourself. You'll be surprised!"

So, I bought the bike (I had done my homework and knew that it was a good one). I took it home, and set out in search of nail polish that would match it. I found some on the first try, and took a little time yesterday to dab it everywhere it was needed.

It worked like a charm! The bike still looks obviously used, but the polish was a perfect match. It doesn't even look like the same bike! I also had to buy a kickstand for it, and I need a couple handlebars (the current ones are pretty worn). Altogether, I will have spent a total of about $80 for a bike worth a minimum of $300. Not a bad deal, huh?

And here I spent the entire post talking about something which has probably put every one of you to sleep.

Which illustrates my point. It's the little things that excite me.


Debbie said...

Didn't put me to sleep. I have bike envy! Hubby and I are thinking of exchanging bikes as Christmas presents this year! The trails and neighborhoods here in GA are not as steep as they were in TN and we think it would be a great way to get in exercise. And with the library just a mile or so down the road I know I would love it!

Great deal you made and I love the extra use for nail polish! A girls best friend!

The Lazy Iguana said...

What did you get? I bought a Specialized (brand name) bike last year new. It cost me somewhere around 5 Franklins.

But it has disk brakes! Coolness.

You gotta get down here in the winter and ride the Shark Valley loop. It is about 15 miles or so. There is a cool overlook 1/2 way down the loop.

Alligators galore. You will see at least 50 of the critters. And birds.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy Iguana, I ended up with a Trek! I'll have to get a bike rack before I can come your way to go riding, but you're on! Maybe in a month or so? It's amazing how so many of my friends are getting married and weddings are cluttering up my calendar!!!

Debbie, what kind are you thinking of getting? And you're right about the nail polish. What was really extraordinary was that I got three colors: black, silver, and the primary bike color... and all of them were a dead-match!

~Deb said...

The only bike I ride is stationary sitting at the gym right now. Not much fun... I gotta invest in a good bike...

Enjoy your weekend!

QUASAR9 said...

You sound more and more like my kind of gal everyday
Eighty bucks for a decent bike, touch up with nail barnish, do the local police (boobies) put barcodes or post codes on yours in the US.

I try to walk at least an hour a day, and/or either cycle half hour either way
Not hard riding, just soft peddling
Hope you are having a nice Day!

daveawayfromhome said...

I recently picked up a Trek at a Goodwill the other day for $90, and I love mine, too. Plus, it's the hard to find oversized that most stores (read: places that carry cheap bikes) dont have. Now if I could just find the time to actually ride it...

Senor Caiman said...


Sounds like a wiener. I go about things a little differently. I still ride the bike I got for Christmas in the 6th grade. Sunset orange Schwinn Continental. I love biking.

Nihilistic said...

We are going to be bringing our bikes down in a few weeks when we go home for Thanksgiving! I CAN'T WAIT!!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, but what would Lance say?

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Great story, Saur.

It is awesome that you are so mechanically inclined as well! I wish I could do something like that.

Have fun riding and enjoy the weekend.

R2K said...

I find great joy in simply making my life work. Getting to the bank last thing friday with a paycheck, rather than waiting until monday and being lazy, that feels good. Or cleaning a room really well, there is great satisfaction in extra effort to do the right thing. Certainly it feels good to get a good deal on something. I once got 150 bucks worth of telescope parts for .50 cents at a yard sale. That was a good feeling!

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I love to go bike riding. But up until recently (the last three for four months) she didn't even know how to ride one, and she's 10 (I know, very unusual). I'm glad I stuck to my guns though and made her learn, because now she wants to ride all the time and it's both great fun and good exercise for us both. She didn't know what she was missing, the little hard-head.

Anyway, glad you found such a deal. Frugality is good.

Badoozie said...

so basically you painted a ten speed with yellow nail polish and it became a mountain bike, you ROCK

exMI said...

You should have just left it ugly. taht is probably the best bicycle theft deterence system there is. Out of a rack of Bicycles is the fancy pretty one or the scratched up multicolored thing going to get taken?

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

I think it's great you ride with the kid.

Happy miles to you!