Vintage Ride

Not exactly my bike, but I love the design.

This mama’s got a new ride.  Except it’s not new.  In fact, it’s older than I am.  (shhhh, don’t tell!)

Last Friday, Doc Sci surprised me with a new bike.  I could hardly believe it.  I don’t get many presents (which is fine, unless it’s my birthday in which case, pony up and at least make me something), so this news bordered on ridiculously thrilling.  However, I had to wait until the next day to see it.

In fact, no only did I have to wait, I had to run my Saturday long run (pesky marathon training), and THEN I could have a look.  And a ride.

Man, oh man, this thing is SWEET.  It took me forever, but I finally dug up the provenance here.  I am now the owner of a mixte frame Peugeot UE-18, made somewhere between 1971 and 1974.

Original decals.

Though it’s not in perfect condition, the frame is all original including decals and paint.  A few things are new(er), but I’m not a collector so big whoppin’ flip.

The mixte frame.

When I rode my bicycle for the first time, I felt like I was riding on dirt roads through the Tuscan countryside.  Not very French, I know.  I think I somehow managed to get a bicycle version of a Vespa experience.  Amazing.

Three speeds and my old skool light.

It’s still not 100% enjoyable to pull a 40-lb T-Rex and a 30-lb Screech in a bike trailer uphill, both ways, in the rain.  But somehow, it’s actually easier with this bike.  Rock on.

But, what about the price, you say?  Germans are not known for their bargaining, especially with bikes.  In the US, you probably could get a used bike on Craigslist for $30.  It might be junk, but it would work.  In Germany, unless you’re at an auction, you’re not going to get a used bike for less than 80 to 100 euro.  And, if you do, it will need some work.  The cheapest new bikes we found were 200 euro and up.  For a pile of metal that’s not even FUN to ride.

Even the pedals are original. And check out the decal on the chain guard. Royally rockin'.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth, right?  But I had to know.  How much of our travel money did you spend on this bike?  A lot less than you’d think, and my wonderful husband even talked the guy down more than 25%, practically unheard of here.  To make things even sweeter, the shop owner said he’d buy the bike back from us when we moved for half of what we paid.  Bonus!

So I’m off to pretend I’m French.  Or Italian.  Or something equally as ridiculous.

My ride!

There’s just one thing.  The poor thing doesn’t have a name.  I’d love any suggestions for a superb French name for the little lady.  Leave a comment with your ideas!

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One thought on “Vintage Ride

  1. Pingback: Miracle: My (Surprising) Lack of Culture Shock « Thrifty Travel Mama

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