Funny thing about having a blog. You have to, you know, actually write entries. If you hop into Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine, you’ll see I’ve been in a state of literary silence throughout 2013. That changes tonight, thanks to something I saw on my Facebook feed. One of the bicycle pages I follow is having some kind of contest in which people are invited to describe their first bikes — the one that sparked their love of cycling.
Yep, I am a cyclist. I’m one of those people in Lycra, you sometimes see on the road or in Memorial Park. I love the smell of bike shops. I drool over the terms “carbon fiber” and “titanium.” I know enough about the term “monkey butt” to know I’ve never had it, and I don’t want it. Two-thirds of the vehicles I own have two wheels. I believe, much to Lindsey’s chagrin, that bicycles live inside. Cycling must be in my blood. After all, the greatest cyclist of all time, Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian. Why, here I am not winning the Tour de France.
But where did this love of two-wheeled things start? As with most kids, learning to ride a bike was a rite of passage, that major step from a tricycle with streamers on the handlebars to a bike with streamers on the handlebars. The only thing I remember about my first bike is that it was red, and had rickety training wheels. To be fair, though, it might have been my dad’s rickety handy work at play in that instance. Once the training wheels were off, I was zooming around with the other kids in my suburban jungle.
If you ask me what I really remember about my first bike? It had the coolest grips on the face of the earth. I could try to describe these grips to you, my rabid readership of eight, but I couldn’t do them justice. You’d read it, and think, “Really? What was so cool about that?” I decided to go to my guru on top of the mountain to get insight into this problem. Guru Google was most insightful. I know the bike wasn’t new, so much as it was new to me. Guru Google not only verified that fact, but he found photos of the grips — a 1965 Esso advertising gimmick.
I tore up the sidewalks on my little red bike, with the awesome tiger grips, which gave way to the five bikes I’ve owned since. None of my bikes, including my current bike, makes me smile the way the mere memory of my Tiger Bike does. Guru Google informs me I can actually buy a set of these things. Now, is there a way to put it on the Giant?