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How many is “too many”?

August 18, 2011

Yesterday there was a surprise addition–a 3speed 1975 Raleigh Sport.

A few doors down from us, this sad looking bicycle had been lying in the front yard (kind of in a heap) for a few days now, so when I saw someone who lived there, I mentioned that if they were throwing it out to just leave it in front of our place. The guy didn’t seem to know anything about it but went off and asked his roommate. A few minutes later, he returned and said it was mine. Mine.

Now really, what makes an afternoon nicer than a free bicycle?

She doesn’t have a name yet. I’m still mulling that one over.

What she does have is seized brakes at the back, quite a bit of rust on the rims, back rack and handle bars, a punctured front inner tube and I haven’t had a chance to try the gears out yet as she is pretty much unridable until the front tire is fixed. Everything appears to be original so far though.

I at first thought I could get her in working condition and then either leave it for public use on our block to the grocery store etc, or give it to an incoming student at school. But now, after reading this over on Lovely Bicycle, I’m getting selfish. I’m thinking with some white tires and a nice seat she could be pretty grand.

Now the thing is, I want to make her look that good, but I also logically wonder, to what end? At the moment Grover is all decked out as grocery bike, but this one would be better with 3 gears over Grover’s single as there is a fair hill between here and the grocery store.

I guess then I could leave Grover down on campus for riding around in the winter when it’s too horrid to commute but still nice to have a bike downtown…

Still. Six bicycles. It feels a bit much really. I never planned to have six.

In Tokyo, two was enough. One fast for getting across the city, one packhorse for carrying loads.

So in Toronto, why four? I will still have one of each of the above, but then the fold up which really is a handy little fella to have around for traveling and for days when I have to get on and off public transport as well, and a cheap and cheerful bike that can manage the demands of being functional around town while totally unattractive to the plethora of bike thieves on campus.

Still. I also wonder. To fix up Florence has meant to accessorize her with more than her own worth. And is it worth putting money into making this Raleigh a beautiful being again?


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