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The dilemma – ramblings

April 28, 2011
by Erin B

I have had a very nice lady make what appears to be a very sincere offer to buy Victoria for a fair price given the parts and effort I put into her.  If I was ever going to sell Victoria, this would be a really good opportunity.  My problem is…. that fair and reasonable offer would not be enough to buy myself a new bike.  No big surprise there really.
If I sold her, I would be well on my way to a Gazelle basic, but I would also be without a bike this summer while I saved up the rest of the money.  If I keep her, it will be a few years before I can afford a Gazelle but I would have a reasonable (if somewhat rickety) bike in the meantime.

I have been really enjoying being car free.  I’ve gotten some really good rides in.  I have lost 5lbs in the last couple of weeks.  I really feel healthier.  I sleep better.  It has been really good.  I don’t want to give that up.

On the other hand, I don’t have enough faith in my bike rebuilding skills to believe that I would be able to sell her for this much later.  This is really the right bike for a specific collector.  In a garage sale or classified ad I wouldn’t even make my parts cost back.

It’s a case of short term or long term benefits and I’m not sure which is which.  If I sell, would I be able to stay active and save up?  Or would the money end up going to the never ending home repairs and I would have nothing?

By the way, if you know where I can legally get $3000 to get my house exterior painted before I end up with more water damage?  But I digress.

Victoria isn’t really my DREAM bike.  That’s the part of this whole thing that makes me sad.  Victoria is this woman’s dream bike.  In terms of looks and parts and features my dream bike would be the Superba I can’t afford.  Which is a whole different problem because the bike (that I also can’t afford) that would best suit my needs at the moment is likely the Radish by Xtracycle.

I think it is about the ugliest looking bike I have ever even considered owning.  It’s $1000 USD.  And I have to pay in full to have the Xtracycle dealer in town bring it in.  No test rides are possible.  Pay first, try later.  Yeah, that makes me squirm too.

It could carry Toddler girl and groceries for five.  Every blog I follow that talks about their Xtracycle as a family bike loves it.  I follow a few bike blogs where they use an Xtracycle instead of a minivan.  See Here and Here and Here.

The Madsen is prettier (to me) with it’s swan frame:

but I’ve been burned by that hybrid seat angle before.   To further confirm this is a problem for me, yesterday Victoria and I went for a couple of rides totaling over 2 hours with Toddler in the Chariot.  No problems.  Today I took V’s bike (the same frame style that was causing me pain last year) to the LBS for a minor brake job.  It was less than a 30 minute round trip with a long stop in the middle and by the time I got home my knees and hips were just killing me.

Maybe I’m imagining it, but the Radish looks like a better seat angle.

I wonder if I could write a really nice letter to Miss Sarah at Girls and Bicycles to talk her into letting me test drive her Madsen.  Then I would just need to make the 5 hour trip there to give it a spin.  Mind you, in today’s post she is also complaining about pain.  She thinks it’s the saddle.  I hope she is right.  That was the first thing I tried changing to fix my hip pain on my former hybrid bike.  It didn’t help.  The problem wasn’t the seat.

Either way, would I keep using a bike like that in a couple of years when Toddler girl is big enough for a trail-a-long bike?  For groceries?   Maybe.  Pre-toddler I could buy groceries for four just by strategic pannier packing, but the teens were smaller too.

So, for now, Victoria and I are sticking together and towing Toddler girl in the chariot.  It’s not an ideal situation, but it works.  I just wish there was a better way for me to manage.  That didn’t cost more than I can afford.  It would be really nice to be able to do both a me bike and a practical bike.  I just can’t even imagine spending that much on stuff for me.   Not when there is so much else that needs attention around here.  Despite what you make think from the recent tractor purchase, we don’t have frivolous money.

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