Thursday, January 3, 2008


Papa and T-Guy are out on an errand. By chance (ok, I was cruising Craigslist for a treadle sewing machine cabinet), I happened upon a listing for a nearly new 24" mountain bike. Papa and T-Guy have been looking at new bikes, but we didn't want to go that route just yet. We thought perhaps we would wait until T-Guy grows into my old mountain bike frame. However he and Papa have really been chomping on the bit to go mountain biking, and not just dirt trail riding. My grandmother gave the boys knobby tires for their 7-speed bikes for the holidays, but the bikes just don't work well for climbing.

We really thought that this was an opportunity to jump on. Listings for this type of bike don't come up frequently; I hadn't seen one before, not for a bike store bike made by a reputable manufacturer, and certainly not one that was practically new. In fact, the person selling it listed it as brand new, since his son is too small for it.

A couple of years ago, we took a foray into BMX. It was fun, but we could see that T-Guy's real love was the riding, not the racing. When our local track closed a couple of months ago we decided that we would give up BMX rather than drive 25 miles to the nearest track.

The decision was made to purchase the bike. It seems extravagant right after Christmas, but it will be a birthday present. Making the purchase now means we won't be faced with buying a new bike, and we can hold off on repairing and tuning the old bike until T-Guy is ready to move up and J-Baby can have this bike. J-Baby isn't that interested in mountain biking right now.

(The bike is home and in the garage. T-Guy is thrilled. The seller even gave us the original receipt; it's from a bike store in Upland that I've known for more than 25 years.)

I know that this is a sustainability blog, but I have to put a plug here for financial responsibility. Seeking financial integrity and getting debt free brought us to a place where we can practice sustainability. Having the cash to buy used is one way to lower consumption. So many people have to buy things new because they need to use credit cards. It creates a vicious cycle. I am reminded time and time again of people who buy new cars because they can't afford to fix the old ones (no cash and maxed out credit cards). New car dealers are predatory and will roll old debt into a new loan. It's absolutely crazy.

Sustainability saves resources, and in the long run it saves money. Sometimes it takes money too. Thus we are reminded not to waste, and that includes our financial resources.

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