It didn’t look like much when Josh first gave it to me back on my 22nd birthday. In fact, as he lead me into the laundry room of his old house he told me to use my imagination. It wasn’t until he pointed at the rusty vintage cruiser leaning against the wall in the tangle of all of the other bikes stored in there that I noticed it.
We spent the following weekend refurbishing the bike. We scraped off and cleaned the rust from the frame. We peeled off the old, rotted tires and took what looked like a torture device that was passing as a seat, off. We primed and painted the frame together. We went to the bike shop to get new tires, so bummed they didn’t have white wall tires, and picked up a comfy new seat.
In the end it looked shiny and new, aside from the jeweled pedals I couldn’t part with and the handlebars that needed new grips. I road that bike all over Old Town Fort Collins. To and from the breweries, bars and work. I even road it home from my friend Jeanne’s wedding in my bridesmaid dress. That night ended with a collision and two broken fingers, but I probably deserved to get a BUI. Yes, you can actually be ticketed for riding your bike under the influence.
Sadly, when we moved from Fort Collins five years ago, the bike that Josh and I so lovingly spruced up in the backyard of the Old Town house was destined to sit and collect dust in our garage. It was a sad sight. Flat tires, spider webs, dust. The same fate it had already known with its previous owner.
Last night we dusted off the old girl and gave her a spin.
Josh attached a crummy burley we got from a neighbor to his road bike and we rode together down to Baskin Robbins for a special treat.
We never go out for ice cream. Ok, unless we’re in Italy or happen upon a vintage soda fountain. We sat outside enjoying our ice cream as the late afternoon turned into a cool fall-like evening.
It’s ok to be jealous of the view from my neighborhood. I am spoiled.
As we were riding home Josh asked if I was ready to sell my bike. I told him that I know it’s just taking up space, but it holds sentimental value. At that he rolled his eyes, of course. As I put it back into its spot in our garage I thought about the weekend we worked on it. I thought about all the fun times we had riding around town with our friends those years after college but before we had adult lives. It made me smile and laugh. I think I’ll keep it just one more year.