Monday, November 16, 2009

A ride down memory lane--my first bikes.

Max and I were sitting on the sofa, way past his bed time and he was busy telling me what kind of bike I should buy him for Christmas. He then asked if I ever got a bike for Christmas and what kind it was. It got me thinking about my first bikes, so I searched Google and came up with these results.

This was actually my third bike, but my first road bike, a Fuji Royale 12-speed. I think my dad gave me this bike for my birthday in about 1984--it was a hand-me-down that he had had for several years and didn't ride very much. For some reason, I recall really wanting a computer and I remember my parents sending me out to a shed behind our house and I found this sitting there. I remember being really disappointed, but I ended up loving this bike. I remember doing my first "time trial" on this bike--I used to ride like crazy to my girlfriend's house after school--I'll let you figure out why. What was really nuts is that it was about 10 miles on a major road and I used to do it without a helmet. Times sure have changed.

If you know me, you'll know that putting this photograph here kills me, but it was the only one I could find big enough on the internet. My bike had black tires and a black seat with red handlebars and stem. This was actually my first bike--it was a Mongoose with team red paint and true to form, I remember buying the frame and fork and building it up with components that I bought at the Bike Barn. I was ten years old and went on to race this bike to a second place finish at the state BMX championship, racing for Bike Barn. I lost in a sprint finish.

This was my first mountain bike, which was back in the days of the very first mountain bikes. It was a Nishiki Colorado and I got it at Arizona State. I remember paying $450, after getting a 20% student discount. Again, this was a gift from my parents that I'm sure they couldn't afford. If memory serves me correctly, I got this in 1988 and rode it everywhere--it followed me to GW and then back to Florida, where sadly, I lost track of it. Although I never did any trail riding with it, I rode it all over Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Perhaps I should call this my first commuter bike.

Given that the pimp daddy Nishiki above was relegated to commuter status, I feel an obligation to put on my first "real" mountain bike, a 1999 Litespeed Ocoee. Although Cora and I laughed when we first looked at this photo swiped from the internet--this one's pretty close, minus the silly fender. I'm embarrassed to say, but truth be told, this pimp rolled red cranks and a yellow seat. So many cool stories about this bike--Cora and I found it on the internet from Mud, Sweat & Gear's in Lawton, Oklahoma with a deep discount and a free Sid fork, so we ordered our first team bikes--Cora still rides hers today. I remember talking to Mud while I was in London doing an ER rotation and getting the total run-around as to when the bikes would be finished. A week later, I was in Wisconsin with Cora and we decided to road trip with three goals--1. pick up the bikes from Mud; 2. drive through every state that we hadn't been to; 3. do some real mountain biking. After getting the bikes, we hit Santa Fe, Sedona, Moab, Couer d'Alene, Jackson Hole and the Badlands. We logged something like 7500 miles in 2 weeks in her dad's SUV, sleeping in Walmart parking lots and making Ramen noodles by the side of the road. Good times.

Here's a picture of me rocking the Litespeed at my first mountain bike race at Mount Snow in 2000, I believe. There's many things I could say about this photograph and the race, but the one thing that stands out in my mind was that this was my first "mountain bike trip" with Big Dave and I remember finishing up my race and the Big Man told me that he hadn't flown all this way to watch people ride, so I headed back out and rode the course with him again--a big feat for me in those days. I think this was also the trip where Dave decided that he really doesn't like to climb. I could go on and on, but I've got to finish posting so I can get back to recovering, which currently means polishing off a pint of ice cream, watching surf movies and oh, yeah, only feeling slightly guilty about the ice cream. Later.

No comments: