A Bike Story

A fun thing about working at 3D Robotics is that my work is really close to where we live. So close, in fact, that my new boss was successful in “positive” peer pressuring me into becoming what I call a “bike person”. It turns out that it’s a 25min bike ride and I could, in fact, use the exercise.

I’ve only ever ridden my bike during a brief portion of my childhood which occurred after I was healthy enough to believe that I wasn’t going to absolutely die due to my immune disorder (after 6 years old) and before I decided that I was going to play violin and join ALL THE ORCHESTRAS in 4th grade (my parents were very patient and morbidly curious how i’d do it all). This magical period of time was called 3rd grade. It was a time of hanging out with my friend Patrick and doing kid stuff that ranged from: riding our bikes up and down from my house to his house, watching Rugrats and Hey Arnold, thinking that parents just don’t understand, and not worrying about rent or who was going to make dinner (thanks, mom). It was a time before my catastrophic dating life, and it was beautiful. Riding a bike brings back all that mess of oxytocin and memories.


Getting the bike was a really funny story, actually. On Pi day (3/14/15) my husband and I decided to go to a sort of “Main stream” bike shop in Berkeley. It was right up the street from my work, and I liked that they had a sign that said “ALL BIKES ON SALE”, which now that I think about it doesn’t really mean anything special. Anyway, we get in to the shop and there he was at the front of the store: a red Schwin bike. It was literally everything I wanted: a Schwin, was red, and most of all…. he was on clearance. It’s like going on a date with someone you think is cute and then ALSO finding out that they also enjoy staying in on Saturdays and binging on Netflix. and cats.

He was the whole package.
It was love at first site.

Then there was my husband. He decided that now would be the best time to play his rarely played “Dad card”, and say something logical like “Hey babe, lets keep shopping around. This is the first shop and we have two others we were planning on visiting. Something else logical and something else logical…..”

I hated him.
I loved him.
But worst of all, I knew he was right.
God damn it he was right.

So, we told the sales lady that we were just browsing and left. I mean, how hard could it be to find a bike in Berkeley?

It was hard.

The next two shops turned out to be a hipster bike nightmare. Our ideal budget (Dude, nothing above $300. Seriously) would only buy us a used bike that was falling apart and a hefty scoff from the hipster bike salesman. I mean, I get that if you use something every day (like a bike) it is an investment. Maybe my budget was pretty low. HOWEVER, I know myself really well, and this was actually a test bike. I wanted to see if I could really make a lifestyle change and metamorphosis into a “bike person”. I was playing my own “Dad card” on myself to see if I could actually commit to the lifestyle change.

So, end of story was that we decided that the one time we were trying to be logical was a bad idea and ran back and got him. While thinking of a name I was toying around with the idea of having his name start with R (which is a red letter to me), but then my husband had to come around and snipe my efforts with: “Francis”. His name is “Francis” (which is more or less a green word to me.).

It stuck.

Now, I “do something that scares me everyday before 9 am”: I ride my bike to work. I tell you what, I am more terrified of you then you are of me. Luckily my route is slightly downhill on the way to work and slightly uphill on the way home with all residential roads. I get just enough exercise after work to distract me from thinking about work the rest of the night. Nice. Hopefully this sticks.