Inspired: A "new" set of wheels
During my travels, I went bike-riding at least 5 times, which was about 4 times more than I'd experienced in the last 10 years. It was this ride in Salzburg (pictured above) that convinced me that I needed to put more bike in my life. A fellow American and I rented our bikes for the day and set out to explore. We quickly gave up trying to maneuver around the narrow, cobblestone city streets and set out on a trail to the countryside, ended up at a country pub out west of the city, and then a couple hours later, at the top of the tallest hill on the east end of the city. I decided then that once I was Stateside again, I'd look into getting myself a cheap-o set of wheels from a garage sale and do more bike-riding.
I got something even better: a bike from the dumpster. The day after Christmas, a lady was wheeling her bike to a dumpster, and upon inquiring about the bike, she said she was getting rid of it because the tires were flat and I was welcome to it if I wanted to salvage it. A few squirts from the bike pump later and I had myself a new set of wheels.
I invested $20 in a helmet and a bike chain, and it's been the best thing ever. I bike to the gym, the the bank, to the grocery store, to the salon, to Wal*Mart. And it's my goal in six-ish months to find a new place within a 5-mile radius of my FABULOUS! NEW! JOB! so I can give Yolanda the Honda days upon days of rest. Because nearly 50 miles to the gallon isn't good enough when gas is predicted to approach $4/gallon.
A fashion aside
That coat in the picture was probably the best purchase I made during my travels. My Phoenix mindset definitely influenced my packing when I completely forgot to stick a coat in my luggage. After three weeks of shivering around England and Scotland, I picked this jacket out in an Amsterdam store. I don't think I've owned any item that has received more compliments than this jacket. I'm kind disappointed that the heat is returning to the desert because I'm going to have to stick this trench in the closet for a few months now.