What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
— Langston Hughes
About six weeks ago, I wrote about how I was planning to ‘upcycle’ to a Batavus Breukelen city bike. I’d spotted the bike at Raincity Bikes here in Vancouver, fell in love with it, and went back the next day to work out a payment plan. I’ve been paying a little bit at a time every pay day, and on Friday October 15, I left work early with a spring in my step because that was the day I would make my final payment and bring my bike home.
Except that’s not what happened.
What happened is I walked into Raincity Bikes and discovered that even though the bike was three-quarters paid for, they sold my bike to someone else.
Now, to be fair, they were chagrinned and deeply sorry. And they’ve said they would try to make things right and either move heaven and earth to get me the bike I’d been paying for from Fourth Floor Distribution, or they’d take a bike from their floor stock and upgrade it to a seven speed hub. I’ve half a mind to tell them I want the Workcycles Oma – a bike that cost one-and-a-half times what I paid for the Breukelen, but that just seems vindictive. I eyed the Pashley Princess Sovereign and the Batavus Fryslan, each a wonderful bike on its own, but I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with either of them because they weren’t my bike. I only want my Breukelen.
But in a way, that’s almost beside the point. I’m not a lawyer, and we never signed a contract; essentially, all I have is a record of payments I’ve been making and an email from the owner saying he’d be willing to work out a payment plan with me. What I also don’t have is my bike.
I feel… cheated, and I’m not exactly sure if I even have the right to feel this way. I know they’re doing what they can to make amends, and when I speak to people in the store on the phone and in person, you can see all over their faces and hear in their voices that they realize just how badly they screwed up, and just how eager they are to make amends. I know all of that intellectually. But emotionally? It just effing sucks beyond belief.
It looks like I might end up with a Batavus Fryslan that has been upgraded to a 7-speed hub for at least a little while. I’ll keep you posted.