Bike shopping II

The Cheeky shop

Outside Cheeky Monkey on a slow day

Credit: Adam

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It's decided. My new bicycle is on order and I am soooooo excited.

As I wrote in my last post, I went to see the folk at Clarence St Cyclery. I said I wanted a "fast, commuter retro bike". The chap there, Isaac, was very pleasant, but he couldn't get past the "fast commuter" part.

"Retro." I repeated.

"Retro?" he looked puzzled. He indicated some very high-tech go-fast looking bikes. "Like this?"

He admitted defeat, but was magnanimous in his failure and said he'd be happy to help out if I thought they could.

So I trekked back to the boys at Cheeky Monkey.

"I like the Vivente, but I wish it was cool and retro like these other bikes," I said indicating their Swobos.

"Ahhhh, retro!" they said collectively stroking their scruffy beards. "We can do retro."

And so we began to plot the old-schooling of my new bike.

We're going to put old-style mudguards on it, and then we're going to spray the whole thing British racing green (I agonised for days over British racing green or metallic pistachio green).

Then we're adding curved, sweeping-back chrome handle-bars with caramel-coloured leather grips and a matching leather saddle.

We're also adding some snazzy safety features such as the latest technology dynamo lights. Unlike the old dynamos that were like cycling through mud, these ones run efficient LEDs and so need to draw very little power from your wheel. So they are located in the hub and draw power simply by your wheel's spinning. There's a capacitor in them to keeping them running when you're stopped at traffic lights. They are expensive, but VERY bright. I figure a couple of hundred dollars is worth the safety of being nearly as shiny as a car.

None of this is cheap, but I justified it to myself by remembering that it is considerably less than the cost of running a car for a year. And unlike a car, I get a completely custom bike, which is going to be the coolest thing on two wheels.

All I have to do now is wait for it to be painted and finished. Oh the agony!