The die was cast with the rusty red Schwinn Scrambler that my Dad took me to buy at the Schwinn Shop in Sebring, Fl. A single brand carrying an entire shop? Nowadays that would never happen. The Scrambler was stolen, returned mysteriously, and it gave me freedom. It took me around Lake Jackson, through miles of sugar sand to steal a redneck kiss to a Lionel Richie song.
Tommy Torso came home with a Yellow 16 inch Jamis Dakar in 1989. I traded my Bottecchia vintage road bike on the spot and asked only that I never have to release the Dakar from my embrace. He accepted without hesitation and came home with a beautiful navy blue Cannondale, the 800 Beast of the East I think? I always thought he was a sucker for the deal.
The Bottecchia was also a gorgeous machine, dripping with vintage
(70’s) Campagnola Super Record components. It was not the Dakar that made me stray, it was riding in the woods. It now lives with an unabashed fixie, but it still has all its gears. Patrick, maybe you know him? Great people, absolutely worthy.
The Fuji Palisade, turquoise, that I got for Christmas when I was 17 or 18. The white handlebar tape and the turquoise paint with purple trim perfectly matched my Chess King outfit and my “bi-level” haircut. God took away my hair for the things I did to it. I thank him to this day for my granite pate.
I took the Fuji to college at FSU, cut the bars into bullhorns and raced 5 triathlons and 2 or 3 local crits.
The Kona Kilauea that Joe sent me in Jackson Hole Wyoming in 1993. Although the bike was sleek and ice green, it was the being trusted and remembered by Joe that made it sweet. I helped his ass move three sets of furniture just the other day. First suspension experience too, and I thought I was pretty hot shit.
The Jamis Dragon- Lipstick Red, Honestly, and this is hard to admit, it was the last time I remember feeling fast.
The 1986 Fuji Del Rey, grey and black, because it is a respected yeoman of its era and I got it for free from my sweet sister and bro’in law. It took me up the Pacific Coast with sturdy dependability and style. It comes out only for Sunday cruising and diplomatic events.
And now, of course, the Titus Racer X. The ride I had at Tom Brown Park and Cadillac this afternoon was worth the price of admission, wow. I dumped it off the skinny bridge twice, but next time I got that thing’s number.
No disrespect to other bikes that showed up every day and did their job. Every good team needs role players.
Got a bike that needs a little respect poured out for it?