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Impractical Purchasing: The Bicycle Edition

I can stick to a budget, sure. But what I choose to spend my money on? Well, sometimes it ends up with me coming home with a bag of cereal that cost more than $10 bucks, while other times it has resulted in more than $100 spent on blue suede boots. Not so practical, I know. In this edition, however, the stakes are higher.

I had a budget for a bicycle. This was last autumn. As the cold weather approached, Hubby and I figured that the stores would have bicycle sales. And everyone in the family had a bike, except for me. Our new neighbourhood is awesome for biking — winding paths through forests, paths that lead right to parks. A bike would be a good thing.

Hubby and Stella had mountain-style bikes. But I had designs on something entirely different. You know the retro bikes that are oh so fashionable? Well, I can’t help falling for this fashion trend — I love them! LOVE.

retro bike


Sure, there’s no gears. They’re kind of clunky. And heavy. And probably not ergonomic. But a girl can’t help who she falls in love with, right?

I imagined a groovy little number that I could kit out with a basket and maybe even some handlebar streamers. If you think I have gone too far with the streamers … well, I guess I won’t mention my dream of a banana seat or hand-painted bell then. Whatever. As long as I could get the bike, I’d be in heaven. Well, the basket too. I needed that basket.

See how reasonable I am? A bike. A basket. Done.

Hubby and Stella had taken off on an overnight camping trip, so I took the opportunity to head straight to the Westboro area of Ottawa one sunny Saturday with Max. Since Westboro has a cluster of bike shops, I figured that this task could be easily accomplished in the three-hour window I had before my three-year-old would be cranky and looking for his nap time.

The first store I walked into had the perfect bike for me. More than just being retro, this bike had a funky paint job with flowers winding all over it. Unfortunately, it was a good hundred couple hundred dollars over the budget that Hubby and I had created for a bike. I knew it wasn’t because it was actually a better bike … let’s be real here — it was the cute paint job. It was the “trendy” factor that had spiked the price up. I started to have doubts. I ummed and ahhed while Max booted around on a display trike. Then, the time crunch hit — make a decision in the next minute before my toddler destroyed the store. And I ….

…. I walked.

I did turn back and gaze longingly at the bike in the front window. But I walked away with my head held high. I was making the right decision. The fiscally responsible decision.

So this is why, even though the sun is shining this spring, you won’t see me biking about the neighbourhood. I took that money and put it right into an RRSP and haven’t looked back.

Heh. Okay, not quite. It’s true I don’t have a bike, but I did spend the bike budget money.

You’ll have to tune in again though because the finale of Glee (Glee!) is on and this tap-tapping-away on my blog is totally distracting me from getting weepy about these kids graduating! This is serious stuff and I need to focus. 

Edited on May 24th to add: You can now read Part 2 here.


  1. Oh, bike lust. I’ve got my heart set on this one here: 

    I feel your pain. :)

  2. Oh, tough decision! Not sure I could have held firm like that. I love the look of those bike too.

    (Why go retro when you can go vintage? I’m sure one of our neighbours up the way has one tucked away in their garage just waiting for the next garage sale *g*.)

  3. Nataliya @ styleINGwCHildren says:

    I say get a 2nd hand bike so you can still enjoy time out with your family! This summer we’re skipping purchasing bikes (we all need one) in favour of putting all of our money (and time ) into renos. But next summer, watch out! We’re SOOOO buying bikes. Thinking of going 2nd hand, at least for myself and the kiddo. There are so many shops that sell very high quality used bikes that I would love to take advantage of the lower prices.

  4. You are better than I!! After an unexpected trip to Europe I should have walked away, but, alas I’m not that strong. At least I managed to stay within my original “budget”….even if it was at the max!

    You want ‘retro’? Go vintage and buy second-hand!

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