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Just like riding a bike: re-learning a friendly way of travel

Author: Aaron

June 9, 2022

Gas prices are rising (Oof!) and I quickly decided that I needed a new form of transportation to go short distances (for now) and also a good reason to get some exercise over the summer. Solution: bicycle.

So what did I do?

I scoured the online marketplace—Facebook because Kijiji has apparently become a giant advertisement for Wayfair. I scrolled for about a month across the many, many offerings. I knew it would be a good time to look for one as the season is just flipping over into Summer. I also didn’t want to invest in a NEW bicycle as I had a budget as well as I like to advocate for reusing and repurposing used items.

Did I know anything about bicycles past the different styles and importance of height? No, not really. So I did spend a bit of time Googling to figure out what might work the best for short jaunts around the city. Cruiser, road, mountain, city, hybrid—all the styles swirled around in my head with various pros and cons. In the end, I decided not to overthink it and focus on investing in just learning how to ride a bicycle again and what I would need to “legally” get around (helmet, lights, arm signals, etc.)

I think you missed a 0?

Then it happened, I was out running errands with my mother at Home Depot gathering materials to finish the basement studio space and framing for my latest paintings (coming up in the next blog) when I reached out to a lady asking if her bicycle was still available.

Alas, she told me someone was meant to come pick it up that afternoon and would let me know if it fell through. My hopes dashed, I figured I would never hear from her again. Hours later, (I had actually left my phone’s sound on) a PING rang out and I checked my notifications—a message! It was her and the person had been a no show so off I went across town to collect my (prize) bicycle.

$30! $30 for this beautiful bicycle that needed a slight tune and clean up. What a steal! The lady I purchased it from had recently moved here from the East coast with her family and no longer had time to care for or use it. It was wonderful, she was wonderful and her lovely husband helped me load it into the back of my fathers truck and away we went.


First step: clean this beauty up a bit. It clearly had been sitting in a garage for some time. The tires were deflated and the fenders were starting to rust. Fortunately the rest of the bicycle was in great condition!

Here’s a before and after of the fenders.

It took quite a bit of muscle to scrub off the rust build up but I think it was totally worth it. I also scrubbed the wheels and finally waxed the body to help the red paint from fading in the sun.

When all was cleaned, I took some red spray paint and touched up a few places that were scratched up. Then I put the chain back on, oiled everything and the only thing left was putting the basket back on the carrier. I moved the basket back a touch for more room and comfort, moved the back reflector to the basket so it could actually be seen and it was all good to go!

This is a Schwinn! I am struggling to find much detail past what I know looking at the bicycle, so if anyone knows more info feel free to email me.

  • Schwinn 5 Star Cruiser (step through)
  • 6 speed with front and rear breaks
  • Cream and red finish
  • Extra comfy seat
  • All original as far as I’m aware
  • Shimano parts

I look forward to traveling around the city. So far I’ve gone for a few rides to get the feel of bicycling back… it’s been a few years! I’m still a little shakey on take off but I’m getting there. I’m also learning there are A LOT of hills in this town!

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