Equipment: The Bike - 石家庄→北京 Shijiazhuang to Beijing - CycleBlaze

Equipment: The Bike

Shortly before leaving China in July 2003 I gave my Chinese boyfriend my bike on semi-permanent loan. Despite having only paid 220 rmb for it nearly one year earlier, my comfort bike was a whole heck of a lot better than his mountain hybrid. Working bell, working brakes, a basket, and a seat in one complete piece.

Since SARS I'd really been getting into the whole "riding bikes for fun" meme. And I was starting to get the feeling I wanted something a little bit more.

Like $50 instead of $25. :)

I figured, when I returned, if he liked the bike I could give it to him permanently. If he didn't, I could give it to someone else who either didn't have a bike or needed a nicer ride.

I ought to have taken his remark that part of the reason for the condition of his bicycle was because when he had bought a bell it had been stolen off the bike as a clue ... but, nonetheless, I loaned him my bike.

I wasn't going to need it while I was away.

I came back in late August 2003 and found out that my bike had been stolen! To add insult to injury he had bought me a 'new' bike from the secondhand market. With money he couldn't afford to spend. And the 'new' bike was a utter, total, piece of shit.

So, on August 23 2003 I went to Beiguo Department Store and bought a new bike.

Giant Bicycles (China) Athena. 2003 model
Heart 0 Comment 0

I knew absolutely nothing about bicycles. I purchased this bike because it was a recognized brand name (Giant) and the thingywhatsis had the word "Shimano" printed on it whereas the slightly cheaper Giant bikes didn't have "Shimano" printed on their thingywhatses. I wasn't sure what relationship the word "Shimano" might have to do with quality but I was pretty sure it was also a Real Brand Name.

(To write this journal, I am working from emails and stories originally sent to my friends back in the US. Although the thingywhatsis was apparently very important to me at the time I purchased this bike, I now have absolutely no idea what it was.)

My new bicycle was pink.

In addition to a Shimano thingywhatsis, it came with a bell, a luggage rack, a posh squishy seat, and 9 liters of green tea.

I never figured out why my bicycle came with 9 liters of green tea. I went downstairs to get my groceries out of the locker where I had left them. When I came back there was a box with six 1.5 liter bottles of green tea in it sitting on the luggage rack.

Perhaps, after I had succumbed to smiling blankly and nodding, I was asked if I wanted 9 liters of green tea and they took my nod as an affirmative. I don't remember being asked anything about tea. As I rather like that brand of tea, once I discovered that my new bike came complete with drinks, I wasn't going to try to tell them that I didn't want them.

My bicycle also had three locks. Rear wheel immobilizer, cable lock, and a lock built into the steering column.

Total cost - 496 rmb ($62)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0