Posts Tagged ‘Schwinn’


Spring has sprung. I know this because I’m doing dumb things again. Well, actually, I’m always doing dumb things, come to think of it. But spring just seems to bring out the best in me.

I call this one ‘The bike ride’. It is not for the faint of heart. In fact, if there are any children nearby, cover their eyes. Also, maybe cover their ears because you might cuss. Never mind, send them in the back yard to see if you’re there. See…works every time.

Now, bikes and I have a strange past together. I once wrote about my first love, Old Red, which was my first bike. We cavorted everywhere together. Old Red and I were a fixture in town back from 1969 to 1972, when I had to give her up for a new banana bike. But I never forgot about her. And it seems that, regardless of which bike I rode, spring was that particular time of year when some adventure related to my bicycle happened.

Well, let’s throw 2012 into the books as no exception. But before I launch into my story, allow me to fill you in a little about how this came about. We need to go back to 2011. Alex had just graduated from high school. He’d also turned 18. So he decided, after being asked about 100 times what he’d like as a celebratory gift, that he’d like a brand new bike. It’s a beauty, to be sure. It’s a Schwinn 24-speed bike, And at first Alex seemed to like it. But you could tell he missed his old one. Luckily, we had not one but TWO of his old ones left. We had been fortunate enough to obtain two ‘Tim Horton’s’ limited edition bikes at a Christmas party, and, before long, Alex was back on his old bike. He named his the ‘U.S.S. Enterprise’. His Schwinn he declined to name, for whatever reason.

Fast-forward to March 2012. I’ve taken all the bikes out, oiled all the chains tightened the bolts and nuts, checked the brakes, and made sure all the helmets fit properly. And off Alex went…on the Enterprise. He looked back and said I could take his new one if I wanted. Simultaneously, my son Mackie asked me if I’d like to join him on his maiden voyage of the year. Well….it’s kind of hard to say no at a time like that.

Some fun facts before I continue. Back when I had my favorite bikes, we had two speeds…forward and stop. Today they have enough speeds to confuse Einstein. Our old brakes were on the pedals. Today’s brakes are on the handle bars. The seats back then would accommodate your ass, with enough room for either your dog, or your girlfriend, whichever you had at the time. Today’s seats are akin to a colonoscopy. In fact, some of the seats should come with a pack of sanitary wipes, to be honest.

So, here we are. A young teen on his bike, a grown, confused man on his son’s Schwinn. We set off, Anne screaming behind us to ride safe, and that she’s proud of me. I quietly swore under my breath, because I was already feeling like my doctor was getting familiar with my posterior. And at first it really was not as bad as I thought it would be. I changed gears like a pro. First gear through thirteen, and it also became easier to pedal the beast.

This is kind of where things start to go sour on me. As we rode down John Street, I kept going into the higher gears, and kept pedaling faster and faster, as my rate of speed keeps getting slower and slower. By the time I reached where the ball fields were, I was in what I assume is 24th gear, and was pedalling 10 times for every one of Mackie’s. The problem was, it wouldn’t go back down in gear. And this was when I discovered why Alex didn’t like his new bike. By this point I was pretty tired. I would have gone to my shop to get tools to fix this, but I had left my keys and phone at home. Of course I did…why would I need them? Meanwhile, Alex has passed us a couple of times, his hands-free telephone securely on his ear. Just like I had taught him, to be safe. He’s a smart kid.

By now, I was faced with the fact that as bad as the ride has been to this point, I was only half done. I still had to go back, into the sun. In the bizarre heat we experienced early on. As I pedalled back, looking much like one of those circus bears on a bike, pedalling like I’m in a race, Mackie coasting along, barely able to keep his bike straight up because we are going so slow, I began to think my poor bum was going to fall off. The seat had embedded itself down there, and had made itself comfortable, while making me uncomfortable.

Oh. There goes Alex again, waving at us. If I ever catch up to him, I think I’ll tell him what I think of his new bike. And poor Mackie is just tagging along, encouraging me and trying not to laugh. It took us three times longer to get back than to get half way.

When I finally arrived back home, my pants smoking from the friction that only a long cold bath would begin to extinguish, bathed in sweat from riding seemingly farther than I had ever intended, Anne was watching me with a mirthful look. I think she knew, but never let on. And after all this, Alex parks the U.S.S Enterprise beside my bike, and asked my ‘Did you name your bike?’

The rest of the story I’m not allowed to print.