So today I went out and did the thing that all cool kids in Shanghai should do. I bought a bike! When I first got here, I asked Pete what a good price was for a bike. He said if I wanted to get a bike, I could get one for as cheap as 300RMB, but if I wanted a half-way decent one, I needed to pay around 500RMB.
I found a guy on an expat website who was selling his 18-gear bike for 450 RMB($66) that he bought two months ago for 750RMB. Whoo! It also included a basket, tire lock, and bell that he bought and installed later. I met up with him at the Carrefour and after awkwardly riding the bike around for a bit (I haven't ridden a bike in years!), braking, feeling the tires, watching him demonstrate that it could indeed smoothly change gears, I handed over the dough. He said I was doing him a favor because he bought a new bike and what use would he have for two bikes? Now I just need to hope that he was being honest and this is a decent bike. He is trying to sell a bunch of other stuff on the website, so if this bike falls apart tomorrow, I can always spam his wall warning other people not to buy his stuff. Hehe!
I had to run into Carrefour and buy a wrench because the guy was roughly two feet shorter than me and the seat needed to be adjusted. After that I spent a while wheeling around the Carrefour parking lot looking like a moron.
I am too lazy to take a decent picture right now, but here is the picture he was using to sell the bike. It looks only a little more worn than that in real life. You can see my fancy basket and bell and stuffs. I bought one of those wrap around locks because I don't really feel safe using just a tire lock. They can still just pick up the bike and walk away. I think next I'll be buying a gel seat (saw 'em at Carrefour!) because even just the short ride back to the apartment was owwy. Charlotte said her bike broke and she bought it to one of the many side repair shops I've seen and the entire repair job cost 5RMB! So even if there is a few repairs I might need to do in the future, it shouldn't break the bank.
Isn't he cute? He needs a name. Any ideas?
Man, I haven't ridden a bike in forever. It was fun. I really hope this is a decent bike. I still feel rather crappy today. Once I feel better I'll probably go for a nice long ride and scope out my neighborhood on a wider scale. I can also time how long it takes me to get to the nearest subway stop so I can stop waiting forever for the bus. Currently the bike is in the bathroom by my kitchen. That bathroom has turned into my mud room. That's where I put my shoes, my umbrella (when it's wet) and now my bike.
I also finally met up with that CT personal I met on SHexpat (as she called it). We went to Blue Frog for dinner and drinks. We talked about EVERYTHING. She was a rambler, which I liked. It seems like most people I meet here are so tight lipped, it was nice to have a real back and forth conversation. We made tentative plans to go to an art museum or something to hang out again. She's only like 15 minutes away by bike. Finally someone that lives near me!
Anyway, I haven't been sleeping well lately so I am rather exhausted. I should sign off and get to bed.
Love from me and my yet unnamed semi-new bicycle!