Friday, September 7, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

Saying "goodbye" is always tough.  Especially when it's to bikes that you love and have given so many great adventures.  The thing is that my husband and I only have so much basement space, and we refuse to buy a larger house just to get more bikes.  This said, I must give up two bikes sometime this winter or spring to make room for a new road bike and a new touring bike.  Don't get me wrong, I'm super stoked to be getting these sweet new rides.  There are very few things that make me happier than getting a new bike.  But this joy is bittersweet and I'm sure a few tears will be shed.

Consider this a mini farewell and pardon my gushing.  First to go is my Bianchi road bike.  For the past four or five years, this bike has brought me up and down more hills than I can count.  It has whipped my ass into shape in the spring (compact crank vs. my husband's triple chain ring), it made me consider road racing again--then I came to my senses, it allowed me to hit 54mph down Cleveland hill and it's what I've ridden for most Sunday group rides.  It's also what I used to beat the blues out when I felt down.  I used to joke about carbon frames--being a "steel is real" girl, but after riding it a few times, it was true love.  When it finds a new home, I know someone will be as happy as I was with it.  It's replacement will be a Trek Madone 5.5.  Now I'm a true Wisconsinite!

The other goodbye goes out to my Cannondale touring bike.  This workhorse is what got me into touring.  Many years ago, I decided to bike up to Minneapolis from Madison alone.  It was my first taste of being completely reliant on my bike and now I'm completely hooked on that mode of travel.  It's also the bike that got me from Bayfield back to Madison on my 10th anniversary tour with my husband.  Memories are burned into my mind about this trip.  I fell in love even more with my husband during those ten days and got to really see the state we live in...the way it was meant to be seen.  It never failed me.  It got me over gravel roads, through numerous rain storms, over torn out bridges and through wilderness areas.  Nothing will take it's place, but my next tour, around lake Superior, will be done on an All-City Spacehorse. 

I look forward to many new adventures on both bikes and thank the ones moving on. 

Ode to Bicycles

I was walking
a sizzling road:
the sun popped like
a field of blazing maize,
was hot,
an infinite circle
with an empty
blue sky overhead.
A few bicycles
me by,
the only
that dry
moment of summer,
barely stirred
the air.

Workers and girls
were riding to their
their eyes
to summer,
their heads to the sky,
sitting on the
beetle backs
of the whirling
that whirred
as they rode by
bridges, rosebushes, brambles
and midday.
I thought about evening when
the boys
wash up,
sing, eat, raise
a cup
of wine
in honor
of love
and life,
and waiting
at the door,
the bicycle,
only moving
does it have a soul,
and fallen there
it isn't
a translucent insect
through summer
a cold
that will return to
when it's needed,
when it's light,
that is,
of each day.

-Pablo Neruda

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