“I looked down again at the sign in my hand – ENJOY THE RIDE! – and it seemed, suddenly, to be just that. A sign.” – Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride

1bike

Today Jim, another soldier, and myself were on a mission to get free bikes. I can’t even remember the last time I rode a bike, but hey, the bikes were free and like they say… “It’s like riding a bike…”

Here’s the lowdown on why we were getting free bikes. To ride a bike on post, you must have it registered. To register your bike, you just have to fill out a little bit of paperwork and get a sticker, no big deal. But people still don’t register their bikes, even though it’s a simple process, therefore, they don’t get a sticker. In come the MPs (Military Police) who drive around and look for bikes without stickers. The MPs take the bikes and put them in a impound lot. After a certain amount of time being in the lot, if no one reclaims the missing bikes, they become government property. Every couple of months (even though this is the first time I have heard of it actually happening after being here for almost a year) they have a “free bike day.” You go to the lot, pick out a bike, register it there, and then it’s yours to keep and ride as you please.

We arrived at the lot at 0945 and there was already a long line. I did not expect such a long line because most people never leave their apartments around here. The bike giveaway started at 1000. After standing in line for over 2 1/2 hours, freezing our toes off, it was finally our turn to get a bikes.

After being told, originally, that there was a limit of two bikes per person, the MPs decided that maybe they should only give people one bike to each person, after 20 or so people had gone through. When it was finally our turn, we quickly realized that the junkiest of junk bikes were left. Sure, we could have gotten a junker to fix up, but after getting a seat, tires, a chain, rust remover etc., we could have just bought brand new bikes. Maybe if the selfish people who went through first didn’t get TWO BIKES EACH, we may have gotten one for ourselves.

Hopefully they do another bike giveaway before summer, although I doubt it, because I really wanted to ride my bike to the pool. I really wanted a banana seat bike. A bike like the ones  in the movie Now and Then, with a basket and maybe streamers, I kid you not. I really wanted a pink bike, but yellow or light blue would have been nice too.

If you want to read about someone else being upset about their bike, click here.

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