robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)
So I called the local e-bike dealer and chatted with him about my requirements. He's basically one of those dealers who works out of their home rather than a showroom. I can respect that. Among other things, means he'd keep the overhead down and hopefully cut me a better deal on the bikes. He doesn't carry any of the type of e-bikes I mentioned in my previous post, and he's hesitant to order them because if I didn't like them, what would he do with them?

However, he does have some of last year's model of an electric cargo bike called the "Juiced Rider" that he might be able to cut me a deal on—including cargo panniers he could throw in. It wouldn't be in the $500 to $700 range, but given that the bike costs like $2,000 brand new, I'm hoping it'll be around $1,000ish. I might even swing $1,500ish or more if he lets me pay on installments. I'll have to carve a chunk of money out from the amount I'm going to be paying down my debts with, but on the other hand this will let me stave off needing a car even further. And I'm going to have to have some kind of alternate solution for getting around when winter hits. Sub-freezing temperatures and trying to pedal a bike any great distance just don't mix.

Judging from this review and this other review, the Juiced Rider looks like it would be exactly the sort of thing I need. Designed from the ground up as a car-substitute, it can carry 330 lbs of rider plus cargo, and has an estimated 35 mile range. Not only would that be great for getting to and from work every day, it would even let me go down and visit Alex in Greenwood and come back without having to wait for it to recharge. I could do my Trader Joe's shopping without having to wrestle my cart onto the bus or pay extra for a Zipcar rental. And since it weighs the same 70 lbs as the other bike, I could easily bring it up to my room at night.

I'll be taking the bus and then bicycling up to Carmel on Monday afternoon to take a test ride, at which point we'll see how it goes. Would be interested to hear from anyone else who's had experience with e-bikes.

In other news, I bought a small window air conditioner unit off a fellow apartment building tenant who's moving away, and it's now cooling my bedroom. I slept very well last night, and look forward to another good night's sleep tonight.
robotech_master: (Default)
Well, here I am back at work again, getting ready for the Big Weekend. This weekend was a Big Weekend of another sort, as it was the annual "Tax-Free Weekend" in Missouri and a lot of other states, where states voluntarily forego their chunk of the 6% sales tax in the name of Education, saving a decent chunk of change for back-to-school folks (and people who are not going anywhere near schools but can still use the same stuff). And there were some purchases I'd been needing to make anyway—my numbers of slacks and shorts have been dwindling, and my shoes were just about to fall to pieces around my feet. And there were also some things I needed to buy for trip prep. And Saturday was the only free day when the buses would be running on the schedule that would let me catch a return trip home without having to go 3/4 of the way around town to get there. So Saturday was it.

My Saturday Shopping Experience )

At work this morning, I arranged to get my paycheck this week a day early, so I can deposit it on my way home Thursday and have it officially hit the bank account Friday afternoon. That way I'll have the money in hand in case of emergencies, or in case I see anything I've just Gotta Have at the dealer room.

I've estimated the amount I can afford to spend, and I should be okay as long as I stick with it. It will probably mean passing up a lot of tempting purchases, but on the other hand I'm not really going there to buy stuff anyway. In the worst possible case, I may have to put a couple hundred dollars more on my credit card, but I can pay that off with the next BioKinetic study.

Alas, when I have to worry about conserving my finances, what a time for me to rediscover a company with which I had become acquainted in the past, a company formerly known as JerryCo but now known as SciPlus. A salvage and surplus seller, they had a newsprint catalog full of hundreds of interesting items, each of which was accompanied by a line drawing and a quirky, amusing write-up. I could spend hours reading through the catalog, about electric motors and gears and lenses and things in which I had no interest whatsoever, just to chuckle at the jokes. Their catalog is on the Internet now, but it's still got the line drawings (and color photos for some items) and the quirky write-ups. And there's so much tempting gadgetry and gimmickery there that I could easily have blown $30, $40, $50 or more on the stuff—if I didn't have to worry about the upcoming convention trip. Ah, travel frugality is such sweet sorrow…

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