*makes a cup of espresso, puts the radio to techno/dance, and plots to dance herself awake once daughter's out the door and there's room to bust out dance gear*
Come on brain, lets wake up so we can refine that essay and turn it in.
So, due to the gear system of Athena's old bike being so messed up and more expensive to replace/fix than just buy a new bike, finally managed to get new bike for Athena. New bike took four people to get into the car: me, both kids, and some random gentleman that spied us struggling from clear across the parking lot and came jogging over offering assistance like some modern day Gawain.
Children and I were definitely glad for help. Very heavy bike. Bike does not have all the bells and whistles old red townie had. Then again, Athena had trouble with it as soon as it was given to her several years ago. So at least red bike gears and workings lasted as long as they did.
New bike is rather retro looking. It looks a lot like the bikes that my grandparents had, that 50's style (remember the Schiwn bikes?). It's not quite the one that I wanted to get her, that had a built in cargo platform on back for books and such, as the store was out when I went for it. However, Athena is happy with new bike. Her commute to/from school and running quick errands will be much quicker for her. And the big plus: less complication means cheaper/easier service at the bike shop when professional assistance is required. Replaceable parts.
Yes, that was a consideration, considering that this is the first bike I've ever actually purchased. All my bikes were given to me as gifts, and the kids' bikes were given as gifts. So bike shopping and considering everything felt really weird.