About 6 weeks ago, my beloved bicycle finally died on me. It had been my best friend, carrying me all over Sapporo every day, but it was old, and little by little, bits stopped working, and began breaking and falling off. I had done my best to fix the problems but was down to one gear out of 18, half a brake, a loose chain, bald tyres with gashes in, and all-in-all, a very weary bike. So, when I got yet another puncture, I decided to give up with my repairs and let my bike rest in peace. 😦
That left me, then, with my two feet for transportation. I enjoy exercise, and being outdoors, but also like getting places fast, hence my love of cycling. With now only my feet to power me, I ended up running all over the place. There was still lots of snow so it wasn’t that easy, and was still much slower than cycling, yet for me, still preferable to taking a bus or subway. However, I needed a new bike, so the mission to buy one began.
I didn’t have time to go around bike shops, so I started looking on-line. After a long search, looking at the size, price, colour etc. I chose one on a special offer (discounted), and my friend ordered for me. But, the next day got an email saying the order had been cancelled. 😦
‘OK,’ I thought, ‘I’ll look again.’ So when I next found time, I searched again and found another one…but this time when we ordered, it was suddenly out of stock. 😦 How many more times did I try and fail? I lost count. I did even make it to two bike shops, but the first had just shut 10 minutes before I arrived, and the second just didn’t have what I was looking for, so it was back to square one (= back to the start).
By this time I was getting tired of looking. Maybe I had been too fussy which is why it had taken me so much time to choose. I am also a terrible decision maker which doesn’t help! Anyway, I started looking again, and found another one. ‘Please can you order this one for me?’ I asked. ‘OK.’
A few days later my friend says to me, ‘Hannah, I’m not sure if I ordered your bike for you or not.’ ‘Oh,’ I said. There was no confirmation e-mail so I thought that maybe the bike hadn’t been ordered. Therefore, once more I searched again, and we ordered. It would be delivered on Sunday.
Then, on Saturday, when I got home from work was an ‘undelivered item’ notice in my letter box. ‘Oh,’ I thought, ‘Had they tried to deliver my bike a day early?’ On Sunday I asked the company to deliver on Tuesday. However….., on Monday, guess what finally arrived? A bike!!!! Yay!!!!…but again, they delivered on the wrong day. A little strange.
…..Guess what happened on Tuesday….Another bike was delivered!!!
We have a saying that you wait ages for a bus, and then two arrive at once. In this case, replace bus with bike!
Anyway, the next day I had to say goodbye to one of them, but was finally able to start using my new bike…
OK, maybe I should have taken it out of the box first!…
And then built it!
Ready for action at last…even if I am wearing slippers!
So you would think that would be the end of the saga, right? Not quite…
Never having built a bike before, and certainly not with Japanese instructions, I relied mostly on the pictures to help me. Thus, it was with slight trepidation ( = feeling of fear or anxiety about something that may happen) that I set off on my maiden voyage (= the first trip). I decided to put my mountain bike to work on the ‘plains’ (flat area) of Sapporo, but chose to go up a kerb (= the stone edging of a pavement) covered with snow. Somehow I made a mess of it and toppled over in slow motion ending up in an embarrassing and slightly muddy heap…on my way to work! Oops! Looking at my ‘steed’ (this word is usually only used for horses), I saw the handlebars were now rather askew (= not in a straight line)! Oops! I guess I had forgotten to tighten the nuts there then! Oh dear!
Anyway, today was day two, and we’ve splashed through lots of puddles, squelched through melting slushy snow, and bumped up and down kerbs all day together: I have my new best friend! I do wish my body were a little more Japanese, i.e. longer and I can’t seem to adjust the handlebars to compensate, but, as I sit now and gaze at my little red friend, I know that we will have lots of fun journeys together.
I hope if you ever choose to buy a bike or such like on-line, you have better luck than I did!