Friday, March 19, 2010
Story of a Townie: Bike Love
Rick and I love, love, love living smack dab in the middle of the city. Granted, our "city" is not a booming metropolis, but it is one of the larger populations in the northernmost half of the state. Sometimes I wonder if our lives haven't gotten a little more sheltered living in town because everything we need or want is within a 3 mile radius of our front porch. Three blocks over is a grocery store good for late night milk runs or chocolate cravings. Multiple coffee shops are short walks away making our caffeine addictions all too easy to fuel. Best of all, our little piece of Lake Michigan is a mere eight-tenths of a mile down the road. Needless to say, becoming a single-car family from a two-car wasn't much of a loss, and hasn't been for the past three years.
When the Michigan weather decides to no longer shower down in frozen or unfrozen form, I ride my trusty Schwinn to and from work twice a day. It is a clunky, heavy mountain bike that I got for my thirteenth birthday. In 1993, it was top of the line, but these 17 years later it has seen many miles and many better days. A 21-speed mountain bike yearns to stretch its gears, but in this flat, bayside town the gears have been stuck in the same position for years - cruising speed. It is with that in mind, that Rick has heard me yearn and yammer on and on about all of the other "townies" zipping around on their fun, vintage beach cruisers. You can spot the locals from the throngs of tourists simply by spotting the bright paint colors, sleek frame lines and the big basket on front. My desire for a cruiser all of my own only grew when we both discovered that our neighbor's hobby was to rescue bikes beyond repair and to rebuild them from top to bottom.
Months ago, before Christmas Rick and our neighbor, conceived of a plan to build me a bike of my very own. For those months it sat in John's (neighbor) front window as they slowly made progress on a complete revamp. I was clueless. Just a few nights ago they had the great unveiling for my 30th birthday. I can't deny that I didn't squeal like a little school girl. It was one of the coolest and most thoughtful presents that I've ever gotten. It also didn't hurt that my new bike is older than I now am - seeing as it's all downhill after 30. So they say.
With that, I now look forward to cruising through my 30s in style. Everything about this bike was tailored to me and my tastes which makes me think it should have a name.