A Very Personal Fleet

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My road bike is gone. I sold it. It was carbon fiber, French-Canadian, sleek, and twitchy. And now it’s gone.

It’s in a good home – and doesn’t that mean a lot when you are selling a beloved? There’s a hot girl with red hair riding it. Most likely she’s making it go faster than I ever did, so that’s better all ready.

It’s hard to pass the bikes on, and I guess that’s why so many of us have garages and bike rooms filled to the gills. I’ve begun collecting bikes out of sentiment, which is always when things start getting over-crowded. What can I say? I’m an emotional girl.

I’ve got a 1978 Schwinn Breeze, in yellow, with a white wicker basket on the front. It was a birthday present from Timmy, who has an entire shed full of tasty rides for every occasion: the grocery-getter, the coffee-schlepper, the singlespeed for the mountains, the singlespeed for the desert, the full-suspension for all occasions, the BMX, the pump track bike, the old-school…you get the picture.

Then I’ve got an old brown, 5-speed Raleigh that my pop used to commute on around Chicago when I was a kid. He biked to work every day. The day I fell down the stairs in grade school and sprained my ankle, he picked me up on his bike. I got on the back of that thing, balancing on the rear carrier with my balloon ankle bobbing dangerously near the cogs. I gave a pleading look to my friend’s mom in her van, praying she would save me from this certain death when she insisted that she drive me home. I dove into the van, and my pop laughed.

I’ve got a full-suspension Specialized Rockhopper that’s quite a few years old now, but I love it, and I’m used to the way it rides. I’ve been on newer and squishier bikes, but I’m not dialed in to that kind of riding, so the bounciness creates a really messy, uncontrolled ride for me. I’m sure I could get used to it – and it would be really fun doing so…maybe soon.

Then there’s the old rigid Gunnar. That’s probably the tightest ride I’ve ever been on, even though it’s a little big for me. It’s in terrible shape and needs all new components, but I think about the day when I can ride that again. It would be the perfect town bike.

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