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My Evil Plan Continues - School Teachers on Bikes!

Posted Oct 13 2009 10:06pm

Did I know what I was doing? Don't I always???

Each time I wheeled my lovely bicycles out of the garage and pedaled off into the morning sun, I knew that I was nurturing the seed. With patience, Angie would soon find need of a bicycle. The awesome power of bicycle love would soon become too strong for even an elementary school teacher!

On a summer day, about two weeks ago, Angie, who you may recall from a post last week for some reason found herself the owner of a Nutcase helmet but no bike, found herself wandering through Absolute Bicycles in downtown Flagstaff. Soon she was speaking with the very low key Kyle, who asked her what kind of bike she was looking for.

"Oh, I'm not really looking for a bike . . . I don't think," replied Angie, not at all defensively. "I have a $95 beach cruiser from Target that I never ride".

"It might be time for an upgrade," suggested Kyle. I think it is important to point out here that my husband, The Running Bob rides a Schwinn from Target that he quite loves and found very serviceable.

Soon Angie was weighing the pros and cons of the Giant Sedona and the Specialized Globe (formerly known as the Expedition), the u-frame versus the unisex frame, fenders or not. Yes to the Globe - she loved the color! Yes to the pannier - she might want to pedal down to New Frontiers for some crackers and cheese! Yes to the water bottle holder! Of course, yes to the head and rear lights!

Angie confessed that Kyle employed no high pressure sales tactics. She fell in love with the notion of stepping on to her bike and going somewhere. Definitely, I can do this, she thought.

Angie called Bob and I that very night after dinner to report that new addition to her family. The Globe would be ready the next day. Angie reported some nervousness about hitting the road for the first time. We gave her some basic tips on pedaling on the road and using the urban trail. We directed her to some bike commuting websites for further inspiration.

The next day, I walked over to Absolute during lunch and had just missed Angie! Nonetheless, determined that there is no time like the present, Bob and I rushed home after work intent on getting Angie out on the road. We needed a destination and a little challenge. Arriving home, we found Angie out walking her adorable but emotionally manipulative little rescue Beagle, Dillon-Russell. Forget him, we demanded, let's go somewhere for a celebratory drink! A nearly undetectable look of panic crossed Dillon's fussy little face and he tugged on the leash to continue to walk and ignore the humans (you see why I refer to Dillon as manipulative).

Luckily, the awesome power of bike love was in full bloom and soon, after assisting Angie with adjusting her pannier, we were on our way to Olive Garden (I will remind my readers that we effectively live in the suburbs, but honestly, I really do love Olive Garden and so does that nice Italian boy I married!) On our way we covered neighborhood streets, the urban trail, crosswalks, bike lanes, and the streets sans bike lanes. Angie was thrilled!

Upon arrival to the Olive Garden parking area, where they happily have a nice bike rack, we practiced locking up our bikes. Bob showed Angie some tricks for making one's bike the most secure on the bike rack. As most of us have experienced, locking one's new bike up and walking away for the first time can be somewhat panic inducing. What if someone stole it. Not to worry, we assured Angie. Olive Garden customers are fairly reliable for almost always having their own transportation but, to minimize her natural anxiety, we asked to be seated at a table with a view of the bike rack. Our waiter, looked admiringly out the window at the new Globe, smiled and nodded his understanding.

More on Angie and her new Globe in the coming weeks.
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