Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bicycle Regret: Can We Turn Back Time?

I am currently experiencing a bit of bicycle regret or remorse, and it hasn't been pleasant. Perhaps regret is the wrong way to word it because, as I've stated in the past, I truly believe that the only way to know what works for us as bicyclists is to try them out for a time. This can definitely be a very un-cost efficient way of doing things, but I know for me it is the only way I can know what works for me. During this past summer, I said goodbye to Stuart, my Electra Daisy bicycle.
It was quite traumatic for me. Typically, I don't attach so entirely to inanimate objects, but Stuart was special. Stuart was fun to ride, painted in the most fun colors, and best of all, he was the best gift I'd ever received. I literally cried the day I sold him. I felt sick, and I didn't want him to go away, but I believed it was all for the greater good. I've talked many times about the difficulty of the location of our home and how having a cruiser bicycle is impractical. I thought at the time that a higher end city bicycle was the answer. I couldn't see myself on any style of drop bar bike and thought that selling Stuart was all for the best. Even after purchasing and riding my Pashley Princess Sovereign, I knew it was the answer for my long distance rides. As much as I wanted her to be the ride, it just wasn't in the cards.
After all was said and done, I found a great road ride that didn't hurt me and that allowed me to go the distances I often need and/or want to travel via bicycle: the Hillborne (aka Tony Stark). After realizing that I could indeed ride such a bike, I wasn't entirely certain what I needed as the alternate short-ride bike... and, I started missing Stuart. Sure, he was a slow bicycle, and heavy, but that was part of his magnificence. He was steady and true, and I literally rode him all over the place.
So, now that I've discovered that it is possible for me to have a touring/road bike that I love and that will take me on longer distances, I can't stop thinking about my cruiser. I currently have Annabel Lee, a Raleigh Lady Sports, but she's just not the same as Stuart. She is much lighter and livelier, but it feels like a 3-speed road bicycle to me when I ride her. The position is more leaned forward, which assists with saddle/grip/pedal weight distribution, and this creates a more sporty feel. It's not that I dislike her by any stretch, but it doesn't have the same relaxed feel of my old Stuart.

Now, I find myself wanting to turn back time and kind of replace Stuart with another Electra cruiser. Is that wrong? In some ways, I feel as though I've come full circle and realized many things about myself and my bike needs and wants. At other times I can't help but think I'm completely insane to attempt to recreate the feeling of a past bicycle. At the moment, I'm debating between two different models. While I could get the Electra Daisy again and have "Stuart the 2nd," it almost feels blasphemous. So, I have two other options that are the same geometry, with different paint jobs. The first possibility I'm considering is the Electra Om.
*Photo from Derby Bicycle online
I love the girly colors of it, plus it is "Om" themed, which is something that I find enjoyable. Everyone needs a little peace and serenity in their lives after all, right? It also has a handlebar flower included with the bike. The picture truly doesn't do this bicycle justice. It is fun, it is pretty, and it makes me happy just looking at it. I do have a front basket I could add to this bicycle as well, so I wouldn't necessarily have to purchase one. The other model I am presently considering is the Electra Surf. 
*Photo from Derby Bicycle online
What do I love about this one? I love the 80s flash back as far as the color scheme is concerned. I really like the white tires, and it's not quite as girly as the Om (which is both a plus and minus, depending on my mood). As an added bonus, it has a front rack, so it would be one less accessory to want to add on. However, I've read that this particular front rack is highly unstable and has had many recalls. This model is also no longer being manufactured by Electra, so one would be hard pressed to find others of this kind wandering about town.

While I don't know which model to purchase, I am about 99% sure that I will indeed purchase an Electra cruiser again at some point in the very near future. Maybe I can't exactly turn back time, but I can take what I've learned and attempt to get back the bike that worked well for me and that I always enjoyed. Is it more wasteful than I would've preferred to be, definitely. But, as my mother always points out to me, I've never been one to learn the easy way, and sometimes the hard road helps me learn what works best.


  1. Every time I start feeling like I want a new bike for every situation, I start thinking I should go ahead and open my own bike shop. :-D

  2. I hear you! I often think about that as possibly a less expensive option. :o)

  3. While searching for a picture of this amazing orange bike, I came across your blog. I bought one from a community cycle shop here in Boulder today. I pick it up next week. In honor of your Stuart, I shall name mine Stuart.

    1. Aw, how fun! I love Community Cycles in Boulder... great place to find lots of good stuff. Hope you enjoy your new bike!


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