When I decided a couple of months ago to spend one of my little nest eggs on a new bicycle, I didn't realize how incredibly complicated the process was going to be. I had an idea that I would buy one of two brands, both of which make bicycles specifically designed for women.
I investigated both, I visited bike shops, I talked to sales people (at least the ones who didn't speak in a techno-geeky language way above my head), and I researched on the internet. I finally decided on a particular model that actually came in a color I liked (it's not like you have limitless choices, like cars) and went to the bike shop with a modest wad of cash in hand.
I didn't realize it was the end of the model year (who knew?) and they had no more of the model I wanted. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. The very nice salesman told me to give them a call periodically to see when the 2011 models were available.
Instead I watched the internet like a hawk. Every day I clicked on the manufacturer's website, and every day I was disappointed. Until today. I first noticed some very subtle changes to the sidebar, and then I realized the 2011 models were posted. I could just feel that new bicycle underneath me already.
I went straight to the same one I had chosen in last year's model, only to find that this year it is available in......
I don't DO orange. I don't have orange clothes. At a rest stop on the 68-mile bicycle ride last weekend, I admonished Katydid for eating cheese puffs. Because they are orange. I only drink orange juice because it is in fact yellow in color. On BRAG last summer, I almost refused to ride in my nephew's wife's car when she drove up because it was orange. But I gave in, since my only other options were driving the RV to a little restaurant downtown or riding the bicycle I was pretty tired of being on.
I freaked out a little bit at the orange color, until I discovered that this model mercifully comes in a choice of two. That's about the maximum number of choices you have in bicycles. The alternate color scheme is black and white with red accents.
Now there's a color combination I can live with. I called the bike shop, ready to get this process underway, only to find out that bike doesn't come in a triple. I won't go into what a triple is or why I'm hell-bent on having one, but it has a lot to do with gears and my being old and slow and being passed going up a hill by a 75-year-old woman who was WALKING her bike.
So now I'm back to some of the same choices I thought I had already come to grips with. With which I had already come to grips. Whatever.
Do I go with another brand to get a color combination and the carbon fiber I want AND a triple?
Do I give up on the concept of having a women's specific bicycle and ride what the boys ride?
Do I (again) let them talk me into believing that a compact crank is just as good as a triple, when six years of riding a bike with a compact has demonstrated otherwise?
Do I abandon my color obsession and go with one of the popular schemes for 2011, most of which involve the color teal? Yuck.
It's not like I have to decide tonight, but I have already sold my current bike (thank you for allowing me to keep it just a little bit longer, Sara!), and I want a new one before it gets too cold to ride.
And I have to know what color it is going to be before I buy all the accoutrements that go with it.
Guys have it so easy. They don't care what color their bikes are. Or if the accoutrements even match at all.