The saga of shopping for a new bike is now done with; the winner was chosen, ordered and has now arrived! As today is my birthday, what better time to make introductions.

Ladies and gents, meet Amsterdam!

Electra Amsterdam

My new Amsterdam! on TwitpicI got the call from Miami Beach Bicycle Center on Wednesday that my bike had arrived, was assembled and was ready to be picked up. I was stoked and though I had originally planned to take the bus down to South Beach and ride all the way home, but it was late afternoon when I got the call and I didn’t want to risk getting there after the store closed, so I got in the car and headed south. I also took with me Red Beast so it could have its back wheel fixed before going to its new home (more on that later). I made it in time, and got my bike. It was love at first sight.

I took it for a ride around the store a few times to get a feel for it and have whatever I needed adjusted done right there (I lowered the seat and raised the handlebars). Happy that the bike was riding well, I packed it up and headed back home. Once here, I went for a little ride around the area, just enjoying the sweet ride and getting used to the various speeds (yay!). All wonderful.

First Ride On AmsterdamThe plan was to go out riding with my wife once she got home from work, and I was quite looking forward to that. Except as we’re about to head out, I got a call from the rabbi saying they needed one more person for minyan (quorum), so I headed out to the synagogue. I went up the bridge just fine (yay for 3-speeds!), but as I got to the other side, I hit a small bump, nothing that would’ve made me think about it twice, except for the fact that immediately after the back wheel went completely flat. Sigh. I called the rabbi, and walked the bike back across the bridge, feeling utterly downcast. Yeah, I can be a bit of a drama queen sometimes.

The Amsterdam getting fixed. on TwitpicI took the bike the next day back to the bike shop where they were as surprised to see me so soon. The bike mechanic took it to the back and quickly got to work on it, finding that the inner tube had a small horizontal gash, probably caused by the tube being overinflated and getting caught in between the rim and the tire. The tube was replaced, this time with a heavy-duty extra thick one (the same kind, I was told, they use on their rental bikes); about an hour later I was back on my bike, happy as a clam once more. I got to ride it a bit more during the day and took it on its first morning ride to synagogue on Friday (at 5:30 AM no less, getting to use the dynamo-powered front light for the first time).

I’m still getting to know it, but overall I am incredibly happy with my purchase. I love the elevated riding position, the swept-back handlebars, the elegant way in which it glides over pavement. And it just looks good. I look forward to our time together, to getting to know it better, to finding out its name (for now it is just Amsterdam). In short, I look forward to riding my new bike as much as possible.

So, happy birthday to me, and yay for my new bike!

Can Amsterdam Swim?

Electra Amsterdam

Amsterdam Steel

Amsterdam Glamour