Jul 6, 2006

A beach, a bike and a bell

Soon we will leave for a trip to the beach. Can you believe we have never been as a family before? You see, most of our vacations are spent visiting family in other states or going to Disneyland for a couple of days. But this year we decided to rent a house on the beach for a week. We are very excited!

In our living room we've been gathering stuff to take: boogie boards, beach chairs, sand toys, fans, and other beach paraphernalia. We are also taking our bikes. Now, my bike is the perfect beach bike: a cruiser with pedal brakes. I've had it longer than I've been married (which BTW, will be 16 years tomorrow) as DH and I bought used bikes for each other one Christmas when we were dating. However, my bike doesn't have a bell or a basket and my friends, who are beach aficionados, say both of those are a must for riding on the boardwalk and making a trip to the market. When I told DH I must have a bell, he started laughing profusely. "You are not getting a bell for your bike! That's embarrassing!" But, of course, since it made perfectly practical sense to me to have a bell on my bike (so you could signal to people on the boardwalk that you were coming up behind them and they needed to get out of the way), his ridiculing made me all the more determined to get one.

As luck (I thought) would have it we have a bike shop just down the street, so I went over there the next day. At the front of the store, they had the most beautiful pink cruiser bike with a basket and bell - I fell in love! Until, I saw the price...$320?? Uh, I think I love my $50 used 20 year old bike more. So I scour the shop for a bell. No bell. I even ask "Do you have bells like on that bike over there?" as I pointed to the lovely pink cruiser. "Oh, no, no bells, except in the kid's section." Erg...so I hustle over to Target and into the bike aisle. Bells, bells...how hard is it to find a bell for a bike? Finally, I find one. A Hello Kitty one. Complete with handle tassels. Oh wait, there's also a Disney Princess and a Power Ranger one. No others. So I pick up the Power Ranger one (force of habit to buy the boy one) and headed out. But then, I stop. Wait, this is for MY bike, so I stride right back and get...Hello Kitty. When I get home, DH thinks I'm completely insane! "You are not putting that on your bike!" Oh yeah...watch me. :P

You see, I am too old and have given birth too many times to be embarrassed about much of anything. A Hello Kitty bell? " "Pshaw!" I say bravely.

But wait...then my friend tells me that she is sure she saw bells at the bike shop down the street. The same bike shop with the pink cruiser bike. Small black non-kitty bells. So we head back over there the next day and she walks right up to them. (Very informed employees they have there, huh?) So I stare down at this black bell. It's small, it's chic, it will be barely noticeable on my bike, and just gives one "ping!" when struck. Definitely sophisticated...for a bike bell. So I sigh...and buy it. I tried to be brave, I really did...but instead, I said Goodbye Kitty.

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