Shopping Siren got the urge the other day to do something she hasn’t done since she was 19.

Ride a bike.

It was one of those warm, sunny, slightly breezy, gloriously humid-free days we’re lucky enough to get this time of year. And all I could think was that this shiny half-summer, half-fall afternoon would be perfect for a ride. 

I do have a bicycle. It’s blue. I remember that. Unless it’s been moved by basement snakes or goblins, it’s sitting in my basement, next to boxes that have remained unopened from my last move five years ago. The tires, I’m pretty sure, are flat.

But that didn’t stop me from daydreaming about flying down the nearest hill, all gleeful and giddy and windblown.

It also didn’t stop me from wandering into Lewiston’s bike stores to shop.

Rainbow Bicycle, Busytown Bikes and Roy’s Bicycle Shop are the kinds of places serious riders like to go. You know, the guys in skin-tight, day-glow racing shirts and women who can balance on tires the thickness of a strand of spaghetti.

And yet. I didn’t feel out of place among the $3,000 racing bikes and special shoes designed for, well, people riding $3,000 racing bikes. The shops had enough stuff for people like me.

Mere mortals with two flat tires and a dream. 

* Trek Trikester, used, Rainbow Bicycle, $100

In little-boy blue, with a thick body, chunky tires and a pair of fat pedals easy for little feet to find. Although used, this rugged metal trike looked like it was in great shape. Unlike your lawn after Junior gets done riding his trike over it.

* CoPilot Taxi child bicycle seat, Rainbow, $99.99

Secure this on the back of your bike, stick in young child and, voila! Perfect for showing little Tommy or Sally what it’s like to fly down that hill and feel the wind in their hair. But safely and obeying all traffic rules.

* Kestral Airfoil Pro SL men’s racing bike, Rainbow, $2,499.99

Aerodynamic, light and so fierce-looking it’s intimidating just sitting on the display floor — everything a man could want in a racing bike. Oh, and it’s jet black. So, guys, you get to keep your street cred. No plaid racing bike for you.

* Torker Wildflower for girls, 20-inch, Roy’s Bicycle Shop, $209

Pretty, light-blue bike decorated with little white butterflies and flowers painted along the frame. Feminine enough to satisfy the girly girl, but sturdy enough to make the sporty girl happy. Also, not pink, which is nice to see in a bike marketed to girls. Blue rules!

* Torker unicycle, Roy’s, $115

Two wheels and handlebars are difficult enough. One wheel and nothing to hold on to? Takes a better rider than I.

* Serfas floor pump, Busytown Bikes, $29.99

Comes with a built-in gauge so you can see exactly how much air you’re pumping into your bicycle tires. Which is helpful when they’re flat and you don’t want to overfill them to the point of bursting, which will just make them flat again. Oh, the trials of bike ownership.

* Crazy 3-D bike helmets for children, Busytown, $31.99

A-dor-able. Who knew something as utilitarian as a helmet could also be so dang cute? These moulded, 3-D helmets make the top of your little one’s head look like the top of a cat’s head or a tiger’s or some other animal’s. They’re better than your average Halloween mask. Your kids won’t want to take them off. (Which will make nap time difficult, but who has time to sleep, anyway? There’s bike-riding to do!)

* Scott Contessa 650 women’s mountain bike, Busytown, $569.99

In white and dusky purple, with thick tires and a sturdy frame. The kind of mountain bike I could ride. Not actually up or down a mountain, no, but definitely to the ice cream stand across the street. 

Best find: Sunlite squeeze horns, $9.99

Little plastic green alien or toothy T-rex that attach to the handlebars. Give it a hearty squeeze and you get a semi-hearty horn. (Mount to the Kestral Airfoil Pro SL for the amusement of all.) If the weather wasn’t enough of an enticement to get me riding again, this horn would be.

Think twice: About not lugging your bike up from the basement and taking advantage of this glorious weather

Pretty soon there will be snow.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who would love to ride in a bike basket like E.T.; they do still make them) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].


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