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Mpls, MN, United States

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

"I want to ride my bicycle..."

No one seemed too intrigued by yesterday's little teaser about my newly-exciting bike commute, but I won't make you wait anyway. I have a new bike!

My landlord felt so bad when my bike was stolen this summer that he offered me one he'd had in his garage and didn't ride anymore. He said it was about 30 years old, but that in its day it had been a top of the line racing bike and was still in good shape.

Although it was a very generous offer and I was intrigued, I wasn't sure anything would materialize, since he's a great guy, but a bit flaky. About a month ago, I ran into him at my building and asked if he was still interested in selling me the bike. He told me it was in St. Peter, but borrowed a piece of paper and pencil and wrote himself a note about it. I didn't hear anything, so I included a little note with my rent check at the beginning of this month.

Then, Tuesday night, as I was standing in the yard and talking to my neighbor's cat through his open window, an SUV pulled up and Mike pulled out the bike! Even though it was dark and the streetlight provided the only illumination, I could tell that it was beautiful--graceful and light, with nice touches like a mirror and kickstand.

In the light, it's even prettier. It's a blue Raleigh Super Grand Prix, with awesome iridescent orange taped handle bars. It was slightly spider-webbed and the tires were flat, but it has a well-maintained chain, perfect brakes, and is in excellent condition.

I haven't had a road bike since about 1992,* and have been riding a cruiser since my mountain bike was stolen. It's definitely a change, from the toe clips to the riding posture to the downtube shifters ("the suicide post!" my neighbor laughed) and awkwardly placed brakes. Still, I think I'm in love. Mike said I could see how I liked it, ride it while I lived here, and that we could talk about a prorated price if I moved away. He wouldn't take any money for it up front.

This pretty much rocks.

*That would be The Black Beauty, so named after I brushed on a paint job of that color. It had been my mom's bike, was significantly older than I was, and could be heard coming from a block away. Even so, one summer it was stolen--but then reappeared a few weeks later, in front of the same building where I'd initially lost it. That event remains one of the mysteries of my life.

1 comment:

I Hope So said...

ha. i totally missed the teaser. but that's a very cool bike.