In one attempt to save money, I decided I was going to bike everywhere.
And not because I was not imagining myself in a floral maxi dress with a fish-tail side-braid cycling on a dutch-style bike with a baguette in my front basket, a bottle of Pinot Grigio in my left hand on my way to an afternoon picnic in the park.
Truly, I wasn’t. I lived in Belgium for a year: been there, done that.
Rather then indulging some soft-focus hipster fantasy, it was a practical decision to save money on transportation.
Where I live, an unlimited monthly transit pass is $100 and it costs $3 to take the bus or subway. To me, it’s just not worth it unless I’m going somewhere more than a 40 min walk away. Since I live downtown, in an apartment that is a 6 min. walk to school and a 15 min. walk to work, it’s pointless for me to buy a monthly transit pass since it won’t be cost effective. But sometimes, like when I want to go to the library, or go buy groceries in Chinatown, or go browse at all the lovely boutiques on the west-end of town, it just takes too long to walk there and I end up giving in and taking the streetcar. That’s at least $6 for a round-trip, which I’d rather spend on three coffees, frankly.
That’s where my bike comes in. I bought it last summer at Canadian Tire for under $150 and it’s been sitting in my parents garage uptown since September. Finally, after weeks of trying to motivating myself to ride it downtown, I did it one evening. I was so happy. Now I could run errands in a faster time AND get fit doing it, all for FREE. Win-win-win situation.
Of course, the SECOND day it was downtown, locked up to a post outside la apartment,someone tried to steal it. I guess when they were trying to steal it they got caught or something, but they (the bastards!) kicked my fenders in and punctured my wheel as well as stealing one of my locks.
So I had a completely flat tire (so flat it fell of the rim) and was thus unable to even wheel it to a bike repair shop because it wouldn’t roll.
I also couldn’t drive it to a bike repair shop because I had no money to pay for it to be fixed! “Whatever”, I thought, “I’ll just continue to walk places”.
“Now”, you ask, “Danielle, don’t you know anyone who can fix a freakin tire?”
No, readers, no I do not.
You see, I grew up in a big city, all my friends grew up in a city, my parents grew up in a city, we can’t do things like that. My dad hires pays handyman $80 an hour to change light bulbs in our house practically.
I scrolled through my BlackBerry wondering who I could call. Now would be the perfect time to get a country-boy boyfriend.
A few months ago I met a boy at a bar from the country. We hung out for a bit and he ended up putting up some shelves in my room. But we had lost touch over the last few months and I didn’t want to seem awkward or weird by calling him up to ask him to fix my bike since we hadn’t spoken for about four months.
But I also didn’t have money to fix my bike.
Long story short? I got over it, decided money was more important to me and I should at least just ask. The worst he would say was no.
But he said yes!! (after asking me if I deleted him off BBM..um nooo I just got a new phone..he totally did not buy that, but that’s irrelevant).
Now I have a bike that will save me money because I can ride to No Frills to get cheap groceries, and to the library so I won’t have to buy books, and maybe even to my parents house if I’m feeling super fit adventurous (where they will give me free food and free laundry!) And I saved like $50 by getting him to do it rather then a bike shop.
Moral of this story? Use your friends.