JUST LOOK AT IT.
You guys, I am probably leaving a little trail of cartoon hearts in my wake when I ride this around. I LOVE IIIIIIIT.
I looked into getting a geared bicycle; but honestly, the ground here is like the back of my hand. On terrain so flat, it's really just wasted effort. Plus, I just love the way cruisers look and feel. It' silly, but I respond emotionally to a cruiser like I never have to a ten-speed. The design has hardly changed since the 1950s; even the small changes they did make in the '70s and '80s have mostly been discarded. The last bicycle I had in California, a Schwinn Windwood, was very similar, and I can't even tell you how many times people my mother's age would stop me and say "That looks just like the bicycle I had as a kid!" It used to happen like, weekly.
I'm not sure how well the wicker basket will hold up in this climate, but it just went so much better with the bicycle than the metal ones, which I've never really cared for. I like this better because it won't rattle and bang and scrape the paint off. But this is a leisure bicycle, not my primary mode of transportation like it was in California, so I won't be out in bad weather much.
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy bicycling. You just notice so much more on a bicycle. You can smell the cane fields and the ditches and the rain; hear the insects and the birds. I've already shot a bunch of Holgaroids -- it's much easier to stop by the side of the road and photograph, say, a burning cane field when you're on a bicycle and not in a car.
Bicycling is REALLY not a popular hobby here, so people do stare. But I mean, people stared at me in California, too. It was like a fat girl riding an old-fashioned bike was the most amazing thing they'd ever seen in their life. You'd have thought I was riding a dinosaur or something by the way people gawked.