The color of my bike is green. Not just any green– bright, lime green. I’ve never been a big fan of green, but I’ve always been an impulse shopper and the color looked better than the pinks, baby blues and bright oranges that surrounded it more than a year ago. After two weeks living in California and a small amount of money in my bank account, I bought a gigantic green beach cruiser.
Needless to say, I ended up hating the color. It reminded me of the glow in the dark goo the neighborhood boys used to put in my hair. I couldn’t imagine walking the bike back into the shop and confessing I had changed my mind, so I dealt with it and made plans to ride it to work every day. Unfortunately, my pre-Mixte job wasn’t bike-commute supportive and so my cycling dreams faded away – for a while.
My “ugly” green bike sat in the garage for months and only received occasional love on the weekends when I took it on adventures from brewery to winery and back to brewery.
Then I got a job working for a company literally named after a bike.
When I began at Mixte, Jamie told me she preferred I not drive my car from Oceanside to Ocean Beach every day to protect both the environment and my sanity. She suggested riding a bike to the train station, taking the Coaster to Old Town and riding my bike to Mixte.
My impulse buy might actually serve a purpose? Yes, Jamie. My bike and I thank you.
Simply put, the first few weeks of commuting were hard. Not only was I sore, lost and a foreigner on the train, but my bike isn’t what you would consider a “commuter” bike. It is the type of bike families rent when they want to cruise down the boardwalk slowly, look at the ocean and take cute pictures. But there I was, huffing and puffing up big hills as people on their road bikes flew past me waving goodbye in the distance. These were the times I found myself hating my bike, but I also started to love the journey we were taking together. I spend a lot of miles on my bike alone with my thoughts—kind of like therapy, but cheaper and way more fun.
Months pass by and it is my birthday. My parents ask me, “What do you want for your birthday? A new bike to take to work?” My heart broke. I couldn’t just replace my bike like that. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But hear me out.
Today, I am not an outsider on the Coaster. The green bike has turned out to be my trademark, if you will. Everyone knows me as the girl with the bright green bike. When they make comments, I even have my go-to remark, “Yeah, it’ll wake you up in the morning.” Those road bikers can wave goodbye all they want because I’m a professional on the bike trail now. I may only have three gears, but I know exactly when to break them out during my route to and from the Coaster.
I told my parents no, and went with a fancy camera instead. Now I can document all of my biking adventures.
I know I’ll need to jump ship and buy a road bike one day. I also know that when that time comes, a special lime green, oh-so-awesome color will keep the tradition alive. But for now, look out for the girl on the green bike—riding half as fast as everyone around me with a smile twice as big on my face.