|Picking up my Red Bike from Tandem Bike Cafe with the Yuba Mundo|
Lately, I've been trying to remember how long ago it was that I got my red bike. I was talking about it with Clint after he did some work on it recently at Tandem Bike Cafe. Then one evening I remembered that I kept the owner's manual, so I looked to see if I had the receipt as well. Et voila! March 21, 2000, my shiny red Diamondback Wildwood came home with me.
|Well worn & well loved Red Bike.|
In the past 16 years, my red bike has been through a lot with me. I rode it up to school a few times when I was at Simon Fraser University. (If you don't know Vancouver, let me explain why it was only a few times: SFU is an top of Burnaby Mountain, 370 metres, or 1243 feet above sea level. Where I live is about 50 metres elevation)
I rode it to work rain or shine to what I can only call an art factory, & carried it up a tall flight of stairs every day to park it indoors. Riding it home melted away the stress from the repetetive factory workday. Then later, I rode it downtown, clad in spandex & Scotchlite, changing at work, since I needed to be somewhat presentable as a teacher.
Before I ever knew about cargo bikes, my Red Bike carried a DVD player, a 14-pound turkey, & many 20-pound bags of cat litter. It carried me on a tour to two Gulf Islands & years of bike commuting downtown in lycra, clipless pedals & all.
|Critical Mass 2008ish, clipless pedals & bike gloves. Heh.|
Once Linnaeus came along, my Red Bike saw very little action until we bought a child trailer, then an iBert seat. It carried little Linny & I all over the place. Linnaeus loved riding in front of me, dinging the bell & shouting "Bike paff" to anyone ahead. (wonder where he got that from?)
Then when I was pregnant with Brontë, I swapped the seat for a wider one & the straight-ish bars for more swept back ones to allow me to sit up straight & create more room for my belly behind Linny in the iBert. Sitting on my Red Bike & riding slowly was far easier than walking, so I biked right up to my last week of pregnancy.
Red Bike had another bout of rare use after Brontë's birth, until she was seven months & we put her in the trailer. It was around this time that we added a Trailabike hitch to the dinged up bike. With the iBert & the Trailabike my trusty red steed could carry three quarters of our little family.
|Me (about 2 months pregnant) & Linny (age 2.5) at Trout Lake.|
I never planned to get rid of it, but I was shopping for a stylish step-through. Something Dutch looking, in contrast to the American diamond frame ordinariness of the red. Then I found a deal on a white single speed & nearly forgot about old red in the joy of riding my shiny new "Omafiets".
|One of Bronte's rare rides on Old Red.|
Clint replaced much of the drive train, a wheel, rotated the tires & tuned up old red. Then he tested it out, popping a wheelie, later telling me he liked how it rides. & he made me realize, that it actually is a fun bike to ride. I can't put my finger on why, as it's a pretty basic bike, with a frame that's technically too big for me.
But now that it's in great running condition, I find I'm choosing Red Bike more often for my occasional solo rides to meetings & networking events. It's battered & scarred but Clint is right: it's a fun ride that always puts a smile on my face.
Happy 16th Birthday, Red Bike!
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