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Bluebell and the Bicycling Brownie Bandit

I bought a bike. I probably paid fifty dollars more for it than if I had shopped around. They charged me extra for the kickstand and the water bottle holder too. But I decided I needed to buy a bike already or I would never do it. So I bought a bike – a beautiful, blue bike. I’ve named her Bluebell.

Beautiful blue bike

She has flowers and bubbles imprinted on her handles and seat.

Patterned handle bars

And stylish decals painted on her frame.

Decals on the frame

Basically, this bike is targeted at young women who aren’t as concerned about performance as they are about riding a pretty bike, a demographic I fall squarely in. If you fall in that demographic too and want to buy your own, she’s a Trek 7100 WSD.

I rode Bluebell to Butler University to buy Avenue Q tickets, saving money on gas and obscene TicketMaster “convenience” fees which I have never found to be convenient. However, I’d forgotten I was getting my hair cut on the same day. So I went to the stylist and told her I was going out that night instead of telling her I was about to bike 10 miles in a helmet because I knew the truth would break her heart. My hair looked cute, but it wasn’t cute enough to die for. Safety first, cuteness second.

Canal tow path

I rode the Canal Tow path to the box office, which at first runs adjacent to a moderately busy street full of noise and exhaust, but after a mile it swerves into the trees and looks more like this.

Very scenic

It made me want to sing “Tra-la-la” as I pedaled, so I did. Of course, it also adds increased fear that I will hit a large twig the wrong way and go ass over end into the murky waters of the canal. I try to steer carefully. I biked through some swarms of geese, which thankfully did not chase me down and peck my eyes out in protest. God only knows what they did to the owner of this hat.

The culprits lurking in the background?

I should have consulted Google maps before leaving, because I wasn’t quite sure what the shortest route to the box office was. I heard cheering and bullhorns in the distance and figured a game was going on at the stadium, so I followed the noise. This was a bad idea because the noise was at the top of a BFH – a big fucking hill.

I pedaled Bluebell as hard as I could and barely made it to the top of the parking lot, where I found myself in the middle of a tailgating event. I figured this out when I saw lawn chairs and fans and rode past the long table of chips, cookies, and a gooey plate of chocolate iced brownies. I started to calculate how many calories were in the brownies and how many calories I would burn on my bike ride, and the only thing that stopped me from grabbing one was the social outrage it would have caused. I would have been the Bicycling Brownie Bandit! And there was no way I could have outrun a hoard of angry tailgaters who wanted their brownies back after I’d pedaled up the BFH.

After I got my tickets, I had to bike home, which is one of the good things about exercising outside because if I had been at the gym I would have gotten off the bike at that point. But I kept going and made it back to the my apartment. But not after I rode past The Flying Cupcake, our local cupcakery, and again started to do calorie calculations in my head.

I kept on pedaling.

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Bunnah • September 18, 2008 at 7:22 am

I love her! The imprinted flowers just make her awesome. I think I need a bike now. Regular performance bikes scare me, I think because they’re so tall.


Ingrid • September 18, 2008 at 7:46 am

Congrats on the new bike!

Biking is sooo much fun!


Miss_Thing • September 18, 2008 at 8:07 am

Oooh….shiny! Congrats on the new purchase. I’ve been eyeing the Trek Navigator WSD myself. Have fun!


Benita • September 18, 2008 at 8:09 am

Congrats on the new bike – Bluebell is beautiful!

I recently got my bike fixed up after about 10 years of not riding her. Now I ride as often as I can. It’s fun! Since I live out in the boonies, I find it fun to see how fast I can go by pedaling downhill as fast as I can. Unfortunately, there are very little chances to do this on our prairie. :)


Helen • September 18, 2008 at 8:11 am

I’ve been thinking about getting a bike and Bluebell looks like just the ticket. Also, now I want a cupcake and have started trying to calculate if I can fit one into my alloted calories today.


Donna B • September 18, 2008 at 8:13 am

Glad to see you got a bike! EXCELLENT choice, it is my twins! Bought the exact model a few months back and I think it is one of the best purchases I ever made. Love to ride the trails. Enjoy!


butterfly • September 18, 2008 at 8:18 am

Beautiful bike Ms Bicycling Brownie Bandit!

I’m definitely going to look into purchasing one myself.

You should post a pic of your new coif!


Jill • September 18, 2008 at 8:31 am

She’s beautiful – and so girly!!! LOVE. IT.

The geese probably killed the owner of the hat just for the fact that he was wearing such a stupid hat. Who knew geese had such strong sense of fashion?


David Crowell • September 18, 2008 at 8:53 am


After 20 years of not riding a bike, I bought two this year. A hybrid first, and later a recumbent for the comfort.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the bike. Traveling a good distance, at a decent speed *completely under your own power* is awesome.

Add some fenders, and you’ll be able to ride in the rain without road grime in your face.

You may want to learn how to change a flat, and carry the stuff you need to do so. I learned that lesson after walking my bike 3 miles.


Dinah Soar • September 18, 2008 at 9:04 am

You’re bike is beautiful!! I want one just like it.


wilma • September 18, 2008 at 9:29 am

love the bike. if you’re going to use it for carrying things around (even your purse, etc.), you may want to get a rack thingy for the back of it (i have a similar bike and i love the rack thing). i put one bike bag on one side, which is more than enough room for anything i may want to pick up or take to work or whatever. i would suggest getting a rack rather than a basket (even though a basket is much prettier), simply because it’s easier to steer with weight on the back of the bike, rather than on the handle bars. happy biking!!!


Jen • September 18, 2008 at 9:56 am

I’ve been lusting after a Trek WSD road bike, but this makes me want a bluebell too… So many gorgeous bikes, so little money!


EG • September 18, 2008 at 9:58 am

Oh, she’s pretty. Does she have a bell? Ding ding!

Congratulations on the brownie and cupcake victories. We do not have a cupcake store, but we do have a cookie store. We were in there one night with some friends and the owner came in and we chatted about business and our kids, and later my husband said, “Who is that and how do you know her?” I said, “She owns the cookie store, and I know her because she owns the cookie store.” Probably not a good sign.


Alexia • September 18, 2008 at 9:58 am

That’s beautiful! I have a mountain bike for regular riding, but I’m dreaming of this one for my cruising girlie bike.


Helen • September 18, 2008 at 10:34 am

LOL @ EG!!


Just_Kelly • September 18, 2008 at 10:44 am

Your spurring bike envy over here!



Zandria • September 18, 2008 at 10:59 am

Yay for finally getting a bike! I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun with it. :)

I’m adopting this as my unofficial quote of the day: “Safety first, cuteness second.” Love it!


Erin • September 18, 2008 at 11:18 am

Wow. That is girlie. Don’t feel cheated; any accessory not included by the bike manufacturer is extra. Bike shop “standard procedure,” if you will.


TOWR • September 18, 2008 at 11:58 am

Ooooo, she’s a beauty! The beautiful thing about going up BFH is that on your way back you get to go down them and yell, “Wheeeee!”

I want to open a cupcakery! But I fear I’d eat all my inventory.


RG • September 18, 2008 at 11:59 am

OMG, I’ve bought expensive bikes and I have to say that looks like a NICE one. Ally frame and shimano parts, plus the WSD design? That is not a low-performance bike. The one I bought for that much money got stolen within about 2 weeks, SAD. That’s even with two bike locks on it (front and back wheel).


Cari • September 18, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I love it! My husband used to sell bikes–Trek is a great brand. Mine is a Specialized, but it’s definitely not that pretty. And I heart Avenue Q–enjoy it!


PastaQueen • September 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm

@RG – Yeah, I’m paranoid to leave her anywhere. I need to buy some super lock or a cloaking device.


RG • September 18, 2008 at 12:14 pm

@PastaQueen – I was stupid and left it locked up outside overnight. I lived in Chicago at the time and took to assuming that my commuter bike would get stolen in ~6 months. It looked like the bike thieves needed a welding tool to cut through those bike posts. But I also had one stolen in broad daylight on a one-hour stopover at the downtown library. And two stolen from inside (one house and one apartment building lobby).


Deanna • September 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm

I want a bike now, seems so liberating, and the idea of grabbing a brownie and pedaling as fast as my ass can sounds so daring and exciting – I may want to try that!!


Pamela R • September 18, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I’m jealous, she’s so pretty and I want her…or at least her sister. I know I’m not supposed to be jealous but that’s the way I am! :-)


emi • September 18, 2008 at 1:22 pm

pretty, pretty bike!


kris • September 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm

I’ll be spending the rest of the afternoon perusing bikes online and trying to figure out when I can afford one!

She is lovely.


p. potter • September 18, 2008 at 2:20 pm

so exciting! i bought myself a single-speed, light blue, Electra cruiser in early July and I LOVE IT.

i never got to bike much as a kid (my parents were, ummm…overprotective) so having my bike now is like living out childhood fantasies of freedom. nevermind that i’ve been able to drive a motor vehicle for almost seven years, i never knew how far a bike could take me!

i’m so happy for you, and i hope you get as much enjoyment out of your bike as i do from mine.

(i’m tossing around the idea of a roadbike; sooner than you know it you’ll crave something with more speed!)


Amy • September 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm

@PastaQueen – Capture your serial number and register it with the mfr! May also want to see if it’s covered under your renter’s insurance or something.


PastaQueen • September 18, 2008 at 2:50 pm

@Amy – It’s written in my owner’s manual and Bicycle Garage Indy also has it on file in their computers. Thanks for the tip though!


MaryK • September 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Great bike!

And you are gonna love “Avenue Q!”


Shawna • September 18, 2008 at 6:00 pm

That bike is stylin’! I wish it had been available when I was shopping a few years back. I got a similar Trek model, but it’s isn’t so pretty :)


Ringlet • September 18, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Awesome bike! I totally lack the balance, or I would get one.


Linda • September 18, 2008 at 6:51 pm

Have you been to Goose the Market at about 25th or 28th and Delaware? Check it out


Sara • September 18, 2008 at 6:52 pm

SO cute!

I’m full of two-wheeled perfection jealousy over here.

I bought a bike last year as a -100 pound reward to myself, and I HATE it. Loathe it. Can’t STAND it. I’d drive it into a lake if there was insurance money in it for me.

I wanted exactly what you have, instead I bought something of the ‘sleek and fast’ variety. Maybe it was the equivalent for me of the mid-life crisis sports car, something for me to ride upon that was all the things I’ll never be. Alas, the barely adjustable handle bars make my lower back scream, the seat (even with the protective ass-pads) makes my butt cheeks ache, and the least objectionable color they had in stock was a shade of blue I detest.

Why did I buy that thing at all? What am I, an idiot?

I must have a new bike. Soon!


cindy • September 18, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Congrat’s on the new bike. You won’t be sorry. I LOVE my bike and find riding it to be one of summer’s greatest pleasures (and spring and fall, too, just not as often!). I swear I feel about twelve again every time I ride my bike (and at 47, feeling twelve is a good thing!). One of my favorite things to do is take the BFH’s standing up on the pedals (I am not that fond of shifting, even though my bike has something like 24 speeds). It is such an empowering feeling. So next time you are out on Bluebell, stand up on the hills and really give it your all. You won’t be sorry!!!


Tish • September 18, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Great bike–I’m with you on looks vs performance. You’ll love it. I got mine last spring and as I have lost weight, feel increasingly confident riding. I can even ride with no hands for about 5 seconds now–something I hadn’t done in about 45 years! I’m up to 15 mile rides on weekends and hope to be able to master the loooong hill between my house and the great Mount Vernon bike path in the next little while.


Amy • September 18, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Love it! Biking is the one exercise that I enjoy even though I am an FBW — freakin’ big woman! My dh once taped a videocam to his bike helmet and recorded a trek he made on “ride your bike to work day.” Maybe you can do that some day.


John's Weight Loss Blog • September 18, 2008 at 10:33 pm

I’ve got a bike

You can ride it if you like

It’s got a basket

A bell that rings

And things to make it look good

I’d give it to you if I could

But I borrowed it.


ironsgirl • September 18, 2008 at 11:20 pm

NOW you can do that triathlon you were talking about!


Lydia • September 18, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Good for you. You are really living the maintenance/changed lifestyle thing! That is wonderful.

I started reading your book — it is so funny. I loved the story about meeting the two teachers while you were trying to find a white graduation dress. I laughed and laughed — truly funny story.

I was wondering, though — did all those events and experiences seem funny at the time — were you able to see them the way you do now — or was it not so funny the first time around? I saw myself in your description of changing the channel if you thought someone was coming and might witness you watching a weight-related TV show.

What a great book you’ve written there, as you know.

You should be thinking about your next book — real-world “maintenance” living. How it is to be a vigilant yet realistic maintainer of weight loss.


Tara • September 19, 2008 at 1:15 am

I love the new bike. I hope you enjoy it. I expecially love the color & the detail on the handle bars. :)


Julie • September 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm

What a cute bike! The best thing about the BFH is the coasting down!


Lis • September 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Congrats on the bike! I bought one last spring and riding it has become my raison d’etre. While I named her ‘bike’ (I somehow have a real problem naming inanimate objects), I love the name bluebell (also the name of Geri Halliwell’s new baby). Enjoy the ride!


Meg • September 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm

I totally have a crush on your bike. Mine is in cold storage awaiting a much needed tune up, a new bike seat and for me to transport it from the very bike friendly city where my parents live to the scary car and taxi infested city where I now reside.

Canal paths are the best. I miss the one where I grew up. I took it for granted for far too long.

Happy Riding!



PastaQueen • September 20, 2008 at 6:48 pm

@Lydia – I don’t think the teacher incident was funny at the time, but I’m able to look back with a sense of humor.


Leslie • September 21, 2008 at 2:15 am

After seeing you post your new bike, I sent the link to my boyfriend and said “THAT’s the kinda bike I want!” I ended up getting a similar one today! Thanks for posting about it and thanks to you, I found the bike I’ve been looking for!


PastaQueen • September 21, 2008 at 10:51 am

@Leslie – I hope you enjoy yours! Bluebell has be great so far.


Cassie • September 28, 2008 at 1:43 am

I LOVE your bike. She’s a real beauty. You’ve inspired me to go out and buy one. Bicycling may be the one exercise I can do theses day — neuropathy of both feet prevents me from walking, dancing, and doing a lot of the things I used to take for granted.

Thanks for posting the pictures – looks are everything when it comes to biking!


Jess • March 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

This is too weird. I found this post while searching for pictures of the Trek 7100 WSD with a rear rack. I was trying to figure out which rack to buy to go with my pretty new bike (the same one you got). I quickly learned that not only do we live in the same city, but we bought our twin bikes from the same store.

But wait, there’s more!

I clicked on your homepage and saw that you’re the author of Half-Assed. I sell remainder and overstock books on Amazon and Half. About a year ago, I had your book up for sale. Congrats! It looks like an awesome read. All of the copies I had sold out. :)

Take care of yourself and Blue Bell.


suzy • June 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Love the post. I have the same bike and I love, love, love it. It makes riding a joy. As for a name, I call her Skye because the first time I brought her to the beach, she blended into the beautiful background.

Enjoy Bluebell.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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