Well, I went to Sports Authority in Citrus Park on the way to my job and they may have one type of bike there that is okay. It's an Iron Horse. The brand is based in New York State and was founded about 20 years ago and they make mostly mountain bikes and bikes for racing, but they have four different kinds of ladies' cruisers there. Three of them have stickers placed prominently below the handlebars which read "Made In China," however, the fourth has no stickers anywhere on it to indicate where it was made... I have to go back when I'm not in a hurry and get someone to tell me where it's made.
So I went back to Sports Authority and asked the guy working the bike section if he knew where the purple Iron Horses were made. He went into a tirade about his politics, how much he hates China and "the Commie-bastards who live there," and how there's hardly anything in the whole blasted store that isn't made in China... Yeah, yeah... That's why I'm asking if it's made in the US or China, guy. But he wouldn't really give me a straight answer, just kept saying, "Well, it's hard to find a bike made anywhere other than China these days." "I know," I said, "But these don't say where they're made. Do you know for sure?" "Well, the rest of the Iron Horses say they're made in China." "Yeah, I noticed that, but these have no stickers, so I was wondering if maybe they weren't, since the rest say specifically, but these don't." ('Cause there were like 6 of the purple ones on the floor, and none of them had stickers saying where they were made, but all the other models did.) "Well, those really aren't very good bikes anyway. What *you* want is a Schwin. I think even they're made in China now too, but they're the top of the line! I've got one over here, I can get it down for you if you want to take a look." No, no, that's okay...
So apparently, I have three choices.
1. pick out a $250.00+ bike from a boutique outfit that *is* made in the US *but* that's really over my price-range and way fancier than I need.
2. buy from China.
3. don't buy a bike.
It kinda unfair that those are my choices. It's my bank account versus my aspirations to actually live up to my political/economic values versus my health and the environment. That really sucks...
After brain-storming, I have a fourth choice that might rid me of my problems, which is to go down to the Goodwill Store instead... I think there's one on Hillsborough Avenue... Let's just hope they have ladies' bikes 'cause I've never gone there before and I haven't a clue as to what they have available.