Wednesday, June 20, 2012
late december back in '63
Yep, that's my bike. In the time of vintage Schwinns with baskets and cute girls in cute dresses with arm tattoos, riding them, mine is a mountain bike redeemed with Marlboro miles.
It's a boy's bike, too.
My bike is a monster truck - the kind people piece together from junkyards with Budweisers in their hands. My bike is that girl in gym class who can climb that damn rope...twice. My bike is steak and potatoes.
I love it.
I ride it around this neighborhood I live in with pride. In my cutoffs.
The first thing you should know about my bike is: it belonged to my dad.
The second thing you should know is: he diligently smoked a shit ton of cigarettes (Reds) to save the miles. If he saw a pack on the ground, he picked up the trash and ripped off the miles. He worked at the landfill, his eyes were always on the look-out for discarded carton cardboards - it was a religion. He saved the miles like they were on their way to perdition. 5 miles at a time -- working his way towards this Fuji mountain bike (that's, by the way, heavy as hell).
I remember the day it happened. He had enough miles to get this bike - which is great, because with all his DUIs, he really needed some transportation. Right on time, I thought. Like a miracle. Shiny and red with five speeds - perfect for riding around our little rural town, flipping the townie cops the middle finger and wearing this bike like a badge of honor.
It was a few summers before he died. He got this bike. Rode this bike. Wrote his name on tape and stuck it proudly down the seat-tube. (The tape is still there).
I ride my bike proudly. And while you are daintily pedaling your bike worth much more than mine, I know that a bike can be much more than a bike, it can be salvation.
I'd go to war on this steed - I'd go to war for this steed.