Don't Buy Bikes At Wal-Mart, You'll Die

since i got all excited about the defcon bike trip, it made me really want to get another bike. mostly for fun, but also because i wanted to see how much a 25 mile ride was gonna kick my ass come august.

it’s pretty much gonna destroy me.

at least, in the sense that my ass bone feels like it got run over by a truck after riding only a couple miles through trails in the woods with brett. i can’t imagine what hours upon hours will do to me.

so anyway, reverse a little–i bought us bikes at wal-mart last week. which, i didn’t realize would be such an ordeal. actually, it was and has been more of an ordeal for brett, than myself. i’m sure my time will come.

the first 2 pictures are of brett on his first bike. yes, first.

[![](/content/images/2011/06/SDC12443-300x225.jpg "SDC12443")](/content/images/2011/06/SDC12443.jpg) [![](/content/images/2011/06/SDC12444-300x225.jpg "SDC12444")](/content/images/2011/06/SDC12444.jpg)
about .05 milliseconds after that second photo was taken, we heard this loud, metal-ripping sound, and then his chain exploded and flew across the road. this was not even 10 minutes after arriving home with the bikes in the back of my truck.

luckily, wal-mart is like a mile away. so we hopped in the truck and drove back. they have a bunch of signs up that say, “all bike sales are final”. but this was (clearly) a piece of shit bike, and i was not going to get absolutely taken by wal-mart over a $90 bike that broke in less than 90 seconds. ohhh, no. to our surprise, they were nice and let us swap it out with no complaining on our end.

we were more careful about picking out a second bike. this time i told brett to ride it around the store (more than the 10 feet like we did last time), so he did. and whadya know, the chain ripped off another bike. IN the store. tried another one–the chain just SOUNDED sketch. another no-go. finally, he found a blue one that didn’t suck as bad. so we got it. but the brakes are hilariously loud.

got home, threw on some old clothes, and went on a nice long ride through the trails behind our apartment complex. mud, dirt, ponds, bugs, trees–it was awesome. i totally ate it up. i love being outside, and i almost never am anymore since i left boone. i couldn’t be happier about having a bike now. it makes me feel 12 again. it helps that we have a freezer full of freezie pops. ah, memories.

we quickly learned that biking in the low country means you will at some point encounter sand, and bikes don’t like sand. talk about some serious spinning out. today i actually wiped out for the first time, scuffed up knee and all.

i never thought i’d be excited about that, but on some level it felt good to almost faceplant, get dirt everywhere, and laugh at myself. this needs to happen more often.

so, i know i said brett’s ordeal was worse, and that part happened before we got home from our ride this afternoon. we were kind of on our way back and his handlebars started getting loose. and then they got really loose. and then they started sliding off. and we were both like WTF. so we rushed home, i kept looking back to make sure he wasn’t lying on a heap of metal in the road. we got home and like… the screw is just almost completely off the thing. i don’t even know how it really happened.

but at least this problem is fixable, from our end. just… don’t buy your kid a bike at wal-mart. buy them a nice schwinn or something… something that you know will hold up. i don’t even remember having a SINGLE problem with my bike when i was growing up, and i put that thing through hell.

here are our shiny new wal-mart bikes.

[![](/content/images/2011/06/SDC12446-300x225.jpg "SDC12446")](/content/images/2011/06/SDC12446.jpg) [![](/content/images/2011/06/SDC12448-300x225.jpg "SDC12448")](/content/images/2011/06/SDC12448.jpg)
i will bring my camera on the next adventure, because today we saw a bunch of turkeys walk across the trails in the woods, and they had BABY TURKEYS, and it was so awesome. and i must get pictures of the baby turkeys next time.