Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bardiac's Pedicure

The other day I was reading some news thing, and there was an article on saving money during tough times. So, of course, I went there. Unfortunately, they had advice about turning the air conditioner* just one degree higher, and not getting a super duper double whammy extra special coffee every day. But the real winner was the suggestion that women should give up getting a pedicure once a week and do it themselves!

Do real people actually get pedicures once a week? I mean, I can easily understand someone wanting to get one for a special sort of occasion, but do people get them once a week?

I have to admit right up front that I've never had a pedicure, nor a manicure. I wouldn't mind a really nice foot massage, but I'd like to skip the polish and stuff.

But, I do have my expensive vices!

After I took my new bike to the local bike shop, I started riding my old bike. I rode with a roadie friend and then with a trail friend, and noticed that there was a sort of rhythmic scraping of the rear tire against a brake pad. That either means the wheel is out of true or something, so the next time I was out to ride, I rode by the bike shop and stopped in. The owner said he thought he could fix it right there, sounded like he just needed his truing key, and took a look at it. He spun the tire, and looked, and spun it again, and then said something about this spoke pulling here, and that spoke, then touched the spoke and showed me that the wheel was cracked, and just waiting for an opportune moment to break. So the old bike needed a new rear wheel. But it seems to be a weird old size, so they had to order it up.

Meanwhile, he lent me a commuter to take my ride on. It had big tires, bar handle bars, and a tractor seat (okay, so not really, but wider than my seats). So I'm thinking, ooo, a mountain bike. But he said it was really a commuter. And off I went.

And yes, of course when I got to a dirt road, I went down it, because really, I haven't ridden dirt roads on a bike much. (True confessions: I do occasionally ride dirt roads on my old bike, with its sort of moderate tires, and it does okay on the more road than dirt parts. And like every kid, I road everywhere on the old Sting Ray and then three speed I had.)

It was very different, because I had to pay a lot more attention close up to where I was going, and didn't get to look ahead far or look around and enjoy the scenery (and I was riding by a little lake, so there was good scenery). And I kept bogging down in the sand, and almost falling, but not being clipped in, and going slow because of the bogging, I was able to just put a foot down and walk the bike out a bit.

I wasn't really expecting that much of a difference on a relatively smooth dirt road. Usually when I ride, my eyes are really relaxed and focused ahead (or looking occasionally at stuff around), and I only have to worry about looking close when there's a pothole or something. And I like that a lot. This felt more intense, and less rhythmic to me.

The bike convinced me even more how much I enjoy my current bikes. I like road handlebars so I can ride in the drops, on the hoods, on the top, on the sides. I move my hands around a bit and my palms and wrists are pretty happy. But on this bike, there was pretty much one place for my hands, and my wrists were cocked at a bit of an angle rather than neutral, so they got tired after 7 miles or so (at which point I turned back).

And the seat. You would think a big tractor seat would be more comfortable, but the seat felt in the way of my legs. And when I stood up to pedal, it felt like the seat was in the way still.

I wasn't going to ride today, but in the early afternoon, the bike shop owner called and said my old bike was ready, but they were still waiting on the part for the new one. So off I went!

And here it is! Not only a new rear wheel, but a new tire! (The old one was old and had to be replaced.) It's like a Bardiac style pedicure, right?

I always sort of feel like a noob about the little rubber nobby things on a new tire, like they should be worn off if I ride enough (and eventually, they are, and then it's time for new tires soon!). (If you click on the picture, you can see the nobby things.)

So we had a 21 mile ride, at a decent pace, and it sure felt good!

*I do have an air conditioner, but it hasn't been on yet this summer. My house has fans, and windows, and they work pretty well. I also really like coffee. It's my drug of choice. But usually I make my own because it would be embarrassing to have to put on my jammies to go to the coffee shop in the morning, even the drive through one! So the article did me no good at all, alas.


  1. I'm always horribly disappointed by those articles too. Besides the air-conditioning (we don't use it at all), and the daily coffee (??? I buy coffee maybe once a month - I prefer my home made stuff by far), they always say things like, "consider buying store brands and generics for some items" (I already do for just about everything), "don't drive everywhere" (I walk or cycle already), and here's how to get discounts on things like movies (we belong to the university film club where you can go to as many movies as you like for $50 a year), take-out (I don't remember the last time we didn't cook our own meal), etc.

    I don't think I've ever found a useful tip on those sites, but I frequently finish up feeling horrified at how expensive it must be to be some people.

  2. Yes, that's my reaction too! I've never had a pedicure (nor wanted one) but now I kind of wish I did, just so I could quit and save money.

    Glad to hear that the wider seat isn't all that... I've been thinking about getting one, just because I have a big wide rear end and thought it might be more comfortable, but wasn't sure if it would feel like it was in the way. See, there's something else I can not do to save money.

  3. Just chiming in to agree with everyone that people seem to have really extravagant habits that I'd never consider...Another big one is getting lunch out every day. In NYC, that can cost $10 every day. If you estimate $10 x 5 working days x 49 working weeks, that's almost $2500 a year! Add the coffee and the pedicures and whatever other stupid things we spend money on...yeah, it's a lot.

    That said, everyone has their extravagances. Mine generally comes in not looking too closely at the prices of things that I want from the supermarket.

  4. Occasionally I look around and do an informal poll on the subway, and it seems as though 99% of women wearing open-toed shoes have painted toenails, most of them in fair to good condition (polish shiny, not cracked, etc.). So if we assume that a fair proportion of them are getting pedicures on a regular basis... it still astounds me, but maybe that article isn't far off.

  5. Add me to the list of people who haven't gotten a pedicure (or a manicure) and aren't in the least interested in getting one. Glad you got your bike back and had a good ride!

  6. I'm really shocked that you've never had a pedicure -- in fact, when (not if) I get to meet you in person, I'll buy your first one. I'm not a girly-girl, but dual pedicures is a really nice girl-bonding thing to do once...

    On the idea that people get them weekly, I highly doubt that -- maybe every 4-6 weeks is more like it. Since they run at least $50.00 each, saving $100 over the summer by doing your own isn't a bad thing -- but, I'd rather eat at home, make my own coffee and drive the Corolla vs. the Jeep and keep my pedicures...

  7. StyleyGeek, Your comment about how expensive it must be to be some people cracked me up. Thanks :)

    Pilgrim/Heretic, Just say no to wide seats! You can measure your sit bones (or get a shop to do it), and then make sure you get a seat that supports your sit bones and doesn't get in the way :)

    Ianqui, Oh, I spend money like an idiot at the supermarket sometimes, I'm sure.

    Kermit, Do they do their own toes? I know a guy who paints his dogs toes... I don't know why THAT came to mind right now, but it weirded me out.

    Dorothy W. Thanks :)

    Inside, If that shocks you, I hate to think what happens when we actually meet! I have nothing against trying it, so long as they don't put polish on the nails.