Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hello Bike, My Old Friend

So the point of posting the photo of my bike was to do a post about it but I forgot that post because I was all caught up in the "Doug was right" dancing.

I love that bike. It is how I lured Doug. When Doug went back up to school early in the fall of 1992, I was still there since I had just moved into the new apartment with Melanie (she wasn't there yet, but I was moved in with my cats). I had been loving the idea of a bike and I got a job at a gas station to earn the money to pay for it after crashing my beautiful blue Honda and inheriting the Oldsmobile that didn't run most of the time and would soon cease to go in reverse. I didn't get the job I really wanted at the BBQ place, so this was it. They didn't let girls work the overnight shift, but I was frequently the 2-10 or 3-11 shift at the Amoco on the Atlanta Highway.

Anyway, I knew through the grapevine that Doug was in town and that he worked at the printshop at the Tate Center so I went down there to ask his bike advice and flirt. See, I had had my eye on him since the spring. In fact, I was hoping to meet up with him the evening that I crashed that Honda. It was fate, though, because he was dating Tanis (the world's coolest girl - seriously, I had one class with her and she was a people magnet) at the time and wouldn't have noticed me. Anyway, he thought my scar from the wreck was cool and we talked about it a lot that spring during and after the Tanis months.

Back to the point, I sashayed (for me, that means bouncy marching) to the Tate Center and threw myself on his mercy. "Sure," he said, "I'll help you look at bikes, but can I use your shower?" Someone else was assigned the water bill for his house and it hadn't been connected yet, so he couldn't shower at home. I went back to the apartment and fell asleep on the couch because the bug man had come and the place was full of toxic fumes. Doug showed up for his shower. A double-entendre and some hotdogs turned into big romance and who knew that this bike guy was THE ONE?

Anyway, the bike. We test-drove many bikes and I ended up liking the Treks. They did not have a Trek in my size at the store in Athens, so we drove all the way to Duluth (which was far, back then, because Hwy 316 was not yet constructed beyond Winder) where I bought the little red from the hottie from my high school who actually flirted with me (HA! - who would have thought!). Doug insisted that I needed toe cages and made me buy a lock and taught me to ride. I always thought he was so cool when he took off on his bike from campus, so now I could do it! Not. Bike riding is hard. We have had many good times together, me and that bike (and Doug - he was good at teaching me the tricks and secret no-traffic routes). We bought groceries at the Kroger and rode home with them in the backpack, learned to ride up the big hill by the baseball field without stopping, we fell over in the toecages while talking to the neighbors in my cul-de-sac, we rode with Doug in the Gambler. Eventually, however, the need to not stink at school or work pushed my bike aside. She collected dust in our apartments/houses until Doug suggested that Emily could use her at school. So, I got her tuned up and took her to Athens (in my suit, while pregnant) as a surprise. Emily has loved her well and may take her to Denver in the fall, but I'm glad to be riding her again (the bike, not Emily).

So, we rode today - 8 miles around my neighborhood. It took me 41 minutes. "Wow," you say - "that is pretty slow." Yes, but it was at an average of 13 mph, which is 2 mph faster than my ride on Saturday so that is PROGRESS, baby.


Wes said...

Great story! And 13 mph on a non-roadie bike ain't nuthin to sneeze at. I know this :-)

Nat said...

Yes, good story and your neighborhood is very hilly, very, very hilly --so that equals not so slow.

Mike Maier said...

That's funny, my Oldsmobile from that era ended up only going in reverse...
I'm proud to say my 24" 90s Trek is still roadworthy as well. Wait till you get some slicks on that thing and see the difference in speed-

Jarrett Meyer said...

That's a long life and a lot of memories for just one little bike. I keep telling myself that I'm going to get one, too, one of these days. Or at least I will when I'm ready to drop a couple hundred $ on something decent.