It would seem fitting that the first and only bicycle I've purchased in my adult life would be a twenty dolla' clunky-ass beach cruiser from the Bike Church. Everything else I own has been a hand-me-down or donation, all of which, were in better shape when I received them than the one I just purchased. It's faded red, with a step through top tube, the tires are cracking, the wheels need truing, the chain isn't too rusty but the chain wheel scrapes the chain stay like grinding teeth. It needs work like a contestant on extreme makeover (this reference is further proof you don't need to watch television to know what's on television...mainly cuz' most americans only talk about what's on television).
Now, you're probably wondering - why buy a crappy slow bike when you already have a bunch of crappy fast ones? Well, it's like this, the crappy fast bikes serve various commuting purposes. The townie has fenders and a basket while the Bridgestone is faster but lacks a rack or fenders (i.e. I have to ride w/ a backback...ugh). And the Trek is for the occasional low-intensity off-roading-get-me-to-the-base-of-a-hiking-trail. But the cruiser, once I bring it up to speed (no pun intended), will be reserved for Burning Man.
For those reading this from the Bay Area, no explanation is needed. If you took UC Davis and wiped out the buildings and all the pavement, erected tents and giant art sculptures, and turned up the heat and music, you'd have Black Rock City, a.k.a. Burning Man - the only "city" in the United States that explicitly states no automobiles allowed on the "streets" - bikes and pedestrians only. Think about that - A place dedicated to moving people via their own body energy (and yeah, I know there are exceptions for the "mutant vehicles" but humor me). If that doesn't say a lot about this fading republic, the fact that Black Rock City only exists for a week out of the year surely does.
And so, the crusty red cruiser will be brought to Black Rock City as a sacrificial lamb. For as the rumors go, the climate there is particularly harsh on a bicycle...as in the dust gets into every orifice and is practically impossible to get out. Well, I got a low-income ticket, and now I have a low-income bicycle. Now I just gotta find a low-income way to get there...