Friday, May 23, 2014

Black Bobby

We do a lot of hand-me-down/thrift store bicycles around here for the little ones; but, as the kids get bigger, it gets harder to find something that is good enough. At that point, we tend to pony up some money to buy each kid a decent new bicycle, one that will hopefully see him/her through the teen years. We've just reached that point with Rachel, who is growing like crazy and no longer fits the used bike we found for her at the thrift store last year.  We handed it down to Susie (who was happy to have an intact bicycle seat that does not require her to tie 2 plastic bags over it after a rain) and set out for the bike store to see what we could find.

You see, I had spotted a woman's bike on sale for only $250 there, when I went in to buy Brian a headlight for his Boy Scout bicycle trip.  I figured that was a good deal for a brand-new bicycle - heck, it had cost me almost that much to repair and fix up Larry's 24-year-old bike for David last month (the derailleur had snapped in two while he was riding it).

Turned out, the bicycle I had seen was too big for Rachel; but the salesman was only too happy to show us some others.  And when he started pulling out some cute little Fujis, I knew I was in trouble.

You see, my first grown-up bike (you know, one with more than 3 gears) was a black touring Fuji.  State of the art in 1983, it was about twice as heavy as a cheap bicycle now, had only 10 gears, and sported gear shifters that none of my 21st-century kids would recognize as such.  I loved it with all my heart.  A friend of mine insisted that I should name it, personalize it, as it were.  "Black Ninja!" he proclaimed. "That's a good name."

"I don't know," I said.  "I want something more friendly-sounding.  Something like...Bobby. Yes, Bobby."

"Black Bobby?" he asked. "What sort of name is that?"

I don't know, myself, but the moniker stuck - Black Bobby.

So here I was at our bike store, watching Rachel try very small adult-sized frames (a Fuji specialty) and thinking, no, I am NOT going to spend $100 more than I had planned, when I realized - I could STEAL her bike.  Remember? I've got a 68-mile bike-a-thon coming up, and my clunky yet safe Electra Townie - my non-scary old-lady bike - is just not going to cut it.  But this bike Rachel was trying?  That would be just the right size for me.  And it was a Fuji.

"We'll take it," I said, surprising Rachel and the salesman AND myself with my impulsiveness.  "We need it."

I didn't look like this, but I FELT like this.
It took me a few days to get up my courage, but today was my moment of truth.  I convinced myself to get on that thing and ride, even though I was scared of falling, scared of breaking bones, scared of looking like an idiot.  Terrified, actually.  I was terrified.  But desperate.

People, I FLEW.  I was one with the wind, I tell you.  Pedaling that heavy Electra Townie of mine got me into fairly good shape, apparently.  And it sure helped me to appreciate all over again the wonder that is a Fuji.

[NOT a sponsored post - I just love Fuji, is all]

[Bicycle image: Clip Art Best]
[Riding bicycle image: All Free Download]


  1. Oh, I remember that feeling of being one with the wind. So wonderful! The big question is, what will you name this new bicycle?

  2. I TOLD you you needed a lighter bike. There you go! What a great way to get it :)

  3. AnonymousMay 24, 2014

    Congratulations on the new bike. You'll have to post what kind of Fuji it is. A good bike makes an amazing difference. Not there is anything wrong with an Electra Townie. I just remember when I got my current bike, the salesman was showing me something like that (only Giant) until I swung my leg over the seat to get on and then he showed me more of the stuff that I really wanted to lookk at. I guess they didn't get too many short obese women in there who could properly mount a bike.

  4. I'm still dreaming of a townie for myself, but I can totally see how riding a heavy bike would translate to riding like the wind on a lighter one. Go go go!!!

  5. I have a good Trek mountain bike that I rarely use off road. I was flying down the big hill to the lake a couple of weeks and felt pretty bad-ass for a 50-year old! Good thinking on the the stealing

  6. AnonymousJune 02, 2014

    There's no feeling like riding a bike. Glad you got it!