Pedaling forward

Last week, I ran into Greenie on my way home from work. I mean this almost literally, actually, as I came about a foot from my old friend and her new owner as I made a wide right turn onto the bike path. Whoops! Luckily, we both rode away unscathed, with the other rider probably barely giving it a second thought, while I spent the remainder of my commute in a reflective state.

The run-in reminded me of two things, the first of which being how small of a town Denver really is. I had actually been keeping my eyes out for the green Hiawatha ever since I saw her roll away and out of my life, checking bike racks as I passed them on the chance that I’d see her familiar rusty handlebars and zip-tied cables beckoning me once again. I’m not sure whether I’m surprised to have almost crashed into her only a handful of weeks after saying goodbye.

The other reminder I got out of this encounter was that I still hadn’t introduced my new bike, Penelope, to the world. So, here you are:

Meet Penelope!

Anyone who has known me well for any amount of time has probably heard me say that my favorite color is “blue and yellow” — not just blue, not just yellow, but blue and yellow together. I am sure it is obvious why I was attracted to this bike.

It was her colors and details that initially drew me in, and the form and function that sealed the deal. With big fat tires to ensure a smooth ride, a giant, comfy, unbroken seat, and a 7-speed shifter to get me up Denver’s hills. Once I had added my own lights, bells, and slightly misshapen basket, she was all mine.

Of course, we bonded quickly, if only over aesthetics and comfort, and she’s naturally taken me everywhere I’ve needed to go for the past couple months.

That said, I’d be lying if I said that she was a full-on, satisfying replacement for my old friend, and must admit that I continue to gaze at other rickety, vintage cruisers with a forlorn sense of yearning. Seeing my old bike chugging along, full of character and decades of history (only a small portion of which I shared), causes me to look at my shiny new bike, purchased begrudgingly from a big-box store, with a small shred of regret. Someday, when I have a safe place to store it and I have the means and commitment to provide proper upkeep, I plan to once again invest in a vintage ride — one that has been properly and safely restored by a professional.

In the meantime, however, Penelope and I are getting along just fine, and are in fact establishing some great new memories already. I also fully realize that at the end of the day, despite the hours I have logged atop it, it’s just a bike — a thing, and whether I grow firmly attached or not, there will likely be many more.

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