A few weeks ago, I was surfing and came across Biketown USA. Write an essay in 50 words or less as to why a bicycle would change my life, and I could win one.
Hmmm... 50 bikes, 8 million people in the Chicagoland area, chances of winning: next to nil. Still, what the heck.
I haven't had a bicycle since my last one was stolen the day I moved to grad school. Just as I was seriously considering buying one, I got email saying "Congratulations; we picked your essay."
The cynical side of me then thinks "Is this legitimate?" After all, anyone can put up a web site (just like I'm doing here). I looked around, found a link to it on the City of Chicago web site. Cool!
Anyway, I won a Giant Cypress EX, complete with helmet, lock, computer, shorts (thankfully, not Spandex), sunglasses and water bottle.
Then I had to figure out how to get it home! Since I haven't ridden a bicycle in roughly 13 years, pedaling for 45 miles seemed a bit much. We barely got it into the back of our car. I need to get myself a car rack. Still, I'm not complaining...
Day 1: I road .75 miles, with a max speed of 13.3 mph.
Day 2: A bit more: 5.15 miles, with a max speed of 17 mph.
Keep on cycling!