Fort Collins is a very bicycle friendly city. There are bike paths a plenty all across town -- see this map for more (opens as a pdf file) -- and at most any brewery, pub, or eatery you're likely to find significant bike rack space to lock up your ride. We've got bike racks on the front of the ambulances in town, so if a cyclist gets hurt, the EMS crew can transport the bike as well as the patient, and the city buses have bike racks as well.
When you consider this, add in the growing bulk around my mid-section from too many beers and not enough exercise, and top it off with a splash of generally nice weather, it's perhaps no surprise to learn that I have been looking around for a used, but still serviceable bike to ride here and there.
Locating a decent bike on Craigslist for a decent price, I drove over yesterday evening. Took the thing around the block, and liked it. It's tall enough for me (those who have met me know what that means... Those who have not, I'll simply state that I'm just shy of six and a half feet tall), and all the parts are in good shape. I handed the man the cash, we shook hands, and I loaded the bicycle into the back of the Heep for the drive across town back home.
And that's when the Heep decided that it wasn't going to start.
For a few months now, it's been doing this strange thing where when the engine is warm, the Heep doesn't want to start easily. It's almost as if the engine is getting flooded with too much fuel, causing it to fail to start. Typically, I just have to wait a half hour or so for the engine to cool, then it starts up fine.
But not yesterday. Yesterday the battery went Tango Uniform.
I called a buddy who came and tried to give me a jump start, but to no avail. He gave me a lift home, and today during lunch I went to the local auto store, bought a battery -- $172 for a vehicle battery? Kiss my hairy Polish ... -- and I'll have a co-worker give me a ride to the Heep after work to change it out.
On the plus side, now that I have a bike, I won't need the Heep for anything shorter than, say, a 10 mile trip, of which I do very few. So it's going to sit in the garage for a while, I'm going to start saving some extra cash to get a down payment put together, and this time next year I'll be looking for a new ride.
Son of a....