Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Blast From The Past

Couple or three months ago I posted about resurrecting an old fixie and stashing it in the valley.

The last line of that post was "I'm gonna love spending part of my bike time aboard a fixed gear again." Well, that kinda totally didn't work out. My battered old knees were just screaming for the mercy of gears the whole time. I've come to realize that fixed gear is totally cool. On somebody else's bike.

So Hank has been hankerin' for a chance to ride a fixie and I was able to move it his way. I've read and admired the way that John and Kent (he wrote a super-inspiring blog about the most and least number of bikes he's owned, but I'll be damned if I can find it . . .) and other guys loan and share and move bikes and this has been my first chance to kind of do that, so I am jacked. I don't have a ton of bikes and bike krap around, but to me it seems like a lot, and certainly more than I can use, and Patty and I are sort of hurtling towards this 'less is more' lifestyle, and . . . well, I'm seriously rambling now, but anyway, it was cool to hook up with Hank on this deal.

So anyhoo. Noisy, swollen knees aside, the experiment with the bike locker at Mirabeau has proven really positive. It is just so cool to have a bike secretly stashed somewhere in the city so that you can get there however and it is ready and waiting. So with the absence of the fixie, the locker was empty and in need of a bike. I looked around on CL and other places, but it is just such a royal PITA to go out and search for the right bike. You just have to trust that the bike gods will send it your way when the time is right. Like the way the AuqaVelva came to me. (Gawd, I love that bike, thanks Ken!) Or maybe they don't send the bike and instead send the message that you need to look around and make do with what you have.

So what I have, that's just sitting, is the first bike that I bought when I decided to go riding again, back in 2000. We were in Seattle and I bought the bike at Gregg's Greenlake Cycles. It cost me $400, which seemed like a fortune, but I was determined to have righteous hardware. I will never, ever forget the experience of purchasing that bike. I was a little kid again.

So over the years, this bike has just hung around and been used in a multitude of ways and it has morphed so many times into so many things. Like the dense high school dufus that doesn't have a clue that the hottest cheerleader is launching blatant teen-infatuation signals his way, I had to be smacked with a two-by-four to realize that this bike belonged in the locker. Smacked I finally was, though. I've spent the last couple of nights setting it up with all the dork hardware that I learned about on rec.bicycles.misc back in the day (while I was supposed to be working). It has been a restoration project, kind of like a classic car:

And now it's in the garage, waiting for me. I'm on my way.

Man, the memories are thick. What we've been through together, learning about traffic and weather and sweat and pain and rain and all that great stuff you learn about when you decide to get out of your car and get there on a bike.

Yeah, those are the weathered, cracked, faded, original 26 Inch Slicks.


Hank said...

Pat, thanks again for letting me borrow the fixie. My kids love that it has the Mead HS colors. Surprisingly, my wife did not complain that the garage is already full of bikes. (Eight now, two of which are not mine.)

John, that does not mean I have room for more. :-)

John Speare said...

Are you sure about that Hank? It's easier to ask forgiveness...