How and where to get a bike in New York(in progress - contributions welcome)
this is my opinion.
get a secondhand bike. there are thousands of sweet bikes laying around ny that come from people who are used to buying nice things with money. then they get a flat and can’t be bothered with fixing it or even finding out who to pay to do it for them. after discovering that maintaining a bike requires effort, they dump a really nice ride that is 99% complete. (of course, buying secondhand also does a big favor to mother earth.)
so, maintaining a bike requires some commitment, and in new york, that means getting a good lock when you get your bike. a lock is not an optional accessory you add later! that lock is your bike's guardian and needs to go everywhere she goes, or you will quickly learn that a bike without a lock in nyc is a disposable bike, and it’s no fun to be on a bike when you know the only place you can go is back inside your apartment. that will hold you back from experiencing the freedom of being born again into a life on two wheels!
how to test a bike, practice as you shop ... six inch drop, loose chain, brakes, flat tires are expected / easily fixed, shift gears, loose headset, adjust seat height, bring a multitool if you have one
places to get bikes:
- thrift stores such as housing works and salvation army. $20-50 PROS: really cheap. hunting becomes an entertaining hobby and conversation topic. CONS: takes time. not for people who want something specific.
if you go to every thrift store you pass, within a couple weeks or months, depending on how picky you are, you'll find your match. it's kind of like entering a new dating pool. when you finally find "the one", it will feel like your match has been looking for you her whole life, too. tell all your friends who shop at thrift stores - and you'd be surprised at who shops at thrift stores so tell everyone - to keep their eyes out for elegible bike orphans, too. know how to test a bike. take a pump so you can pump tires and test drive it.
- craigslist. takes time to correspond, great if you know what you want
- secondhand bike shops such as recycle a bicycle
- build a bike at places like times up,
your next accessories are lights and a helmet.
has a FREE bike workshop in brooklyn where you can fix or put together your own bike. out of many many many parts! and there are volunteers to help out. just bring extra wd40 and be ready to get dirty.
www.times-up.org has a workshop where you can make (weld) your own bike w/ monthly dues and volunteer help.