My husband is a lucky man. A very, very lucky man. He’s lucky I don’t have an obsession with high-end sports cars or mink coats or fine art. We’d be bankrupt and homeless if I did because every time the garage door is opened, it is quite obvious I act upon my obsession.
My obsession is bicycles. I love bicycles. I collect bicycles. Fortunately the collection is mainly discarded old bikes so it’s a fairly cheap obsession.
Why bikes? I have no idea. I’ve always loved bikes. Smashing my nose on a parked car on my first independent ride did nothing to deter this obsession. My first bike was a purple sting-ray with a sparkly banana seat. A gift for my 6th birthday, stolen–alas from our garage in Detroit, Michigan. Perhaps my bike collection has been a childhood quest to regain my treasured purple bike? Who knows, who cares.
These are my bikes:
Two dogs=two bikes with milk crates. This is a beautiful Schwinn 3-speed. Word-of-mouth brought this to my garage. Who could ever part with it? It’s perfect! Chrome fenders, original everything, working Shimano shifter. All it really needed was air in the tires. It’s huge–way too big for me, so my husband rides it with the other dog (who isn’t as good as Artie on a bike). She wouldn’t sit still so Artie’s the model which caused a lot of grief for him once he was back on the ground.
This was a garbage bike, can you believe it??? Therefore it is an absolute treasure to me. It needed a bit of tuning to get it riding well which was worth every cent. It’s got a steel frame but feels so light and responsive. This is the bike I ride most often.
And here’s the rest of the present-day fleet:
This little bike is probably the answer to my long lost purple sting-ray. It’s my son’s bike and he prefers riding it over his mountain bike. It’s comfortable and easy to ride despite how heavy it feels. He gets a bit of attention on it–mostly, “Hey! Cool bike!”
This was a Columbia 3-speed but is now a single-speed with a coaster brake. It’s so much fun to ride.
This bike makes me think of a 1950’s paperboy bicycle. It’s got both hand and coaster brakes which is a good thing because neither work well alone.
Here’s a picture of my Bianchi Astrale Mixte. I waxed nearly poetic about my mixte in previous posts that are still getting a lot of hits. I think there’s a thriving mixte subculture out there which is fantastic.
I love simple, basic road bikes and I think Specialized makes some beauties–I especially love models with a bare minimum of gadgets. For me the beauty of riding is the ability to get around on two wheels. It’s not keeping track of how fast or far I go.
I traded in my Specialized Langster last April. I absolutely loved that bike but I was terrified riding fixed-gear thanks to a near-miss on the road. I debated keeping it with great hopes that I could conquer my dread but the reality is I’m getting more cautious as I get older. I started riding fixed too late.
The Specialized Allez is the trade-off bike and I love it. It’s my Breaking Away bicycle. Breaking Away is one of my favorite movies–did I even need to say that?