Ah, the anticipation...

I took my bike into the shop today. It was pretty much complete right out of the shipping box it had been packed in 15 years ago. I could tell that the mechanic didn't want to change much of anything on it, other than replace badly worn elements and rebend some metal that had gotten bent in during shipping (most likely). It's a vintage Bianchi Volpe that looks somewhat like this bike:

 I think mine is smaller than this one. The geometry isn't as straight-the upper cross bar (the one your crotch lands on if you stop too suddenly and OUCH!) is a little more angled. When I got it my BIL insisted it was a "girls' bike" but it's not: it's one of the first cross bikes that came out.

Apparently the original wheels are fine. They were in a box for again, 15 years, away from sunlight. The original vinyl white wrapping on the handle bars is fine, except for a nick that's been there since I first rode it. Yeah.

I loves me my bike. It'll be ready late Monday afternoon, before 6pm. I'm trying out new seats though. This mama's bottom has widened out even more than it was originally, so I want some padding

Now I have to scare up the red panniers my BIL suggested my mother get me for Xmas that year; I'd seriously considered riding my bike across country. It's why I bought THIS bike, and not the other one I was looking at (Miata, I think).

One interesting thing I learned about my car when I stuffed into the Civic was that the back seats go down! Like in a hatchback! You stick your car key in a lock, twist it left, twist it right, and the seats in the back flip forward, and then you have immense amounts of space! Very cool! Now when we go camping I can fit in more stuff! Yay! And ruin my suspension! Even cooler!

The Story of the MS150

But back to the bike. Shortly after I bought it, I got the brilliant idea to gather together a team for the MS150 in 1990/91 (more like the 170, because the organizers miscalculated the distance and there ended up being 20 more miles to go than everyone anticipated). I was 25, if want to know. So, my cousin and I trained for it, while her boyfriend also trained on his own. She asked a friend of hers to join in too (with my consent), but I didn't get to meet this person until the day of the MS150.

It was grueling. It rained. I had trained, but I wasn't in good enough shape. And when the miles didn't seem to end (see the extra 20 miles bit) I ended up giving up about 10 miles from the campsite and hopping on the truck. There were other folks on the truck as well. My cousin kept going for a few more miles & then hopped onto a different truck with their bikes. I don't remember us discussing in too much detail about the sleeping arrangements-only that I was supposed to share my cousin's friend's tent. But her friend mentioned that she borrowed her tent from someone who had "done something" in it. She never said the effing thing would smell like VOMIT. Well, my cousin and her boyfriend ended up with an extra person in their two person that night. Didn't help my butt muscles siezed up after stopping. 

The next day was *really* grueling. By the end of the day, the last 20 miles was torture. Cousin's boyfriend stayed with me, telling me the end was "just around the bend" or "the next corner" and I stupidly *believed* him! But he was a really really nice guy. By the time I saw the finishing line, I was shaking. I could barely get off my bike, and I was crying from exhaustion. But I'd done it. I threw-yes, THREW-thebike down on the ground while I stumbled to the bathroom to wash my face and gather myself together. Not exactly a winner in adversity, but I DID finish the 150(170) and I DID raise money.

But it did make me rethink whether or not I had the mental strength to do a cross-country trip. Well, maybe not with my cousin the uber competitive--wouldn't ever think of that. Oh no.  If I get back enough into it, I might consider a leisurely bike tour in the California wine country. THAT I could get into. Hmmm. But no more MS150s. God no. (maybe the AIDS tour? but that monster tour is 900 miles going up the CA coast. holy cow)

And that's the end of my post. I'll take a picture of my bike when I get it back, in all it's dusty glory. Okay, I'll spend some time wiping it down first.   (((hugs bike)))

Of Bicycles

Oct. 9th, 2010 08:30 am
Tall Boy doesn't have a bike that fits him (his other one is way too small about little kiddish), and I want to get him out of the house more often-and get ME out of the house more often! So I'm taking him and my bike to the bike shop. Him to take to a look at what's available, and me to drop off my dissassembled bike-in-a-box to get reassembled. My bike has been in a box for going on 15 years now, I think. I had it boxed up when we moved out here in 1995, so yeah, that's about right, and I mailed it post so it wouldn't get stolen/wrecked by the movers.

Of course, when I had little kids, and I realized drivers here in LA are bat-shit crazy nut-balls, I was too afraid to take the kids out on a carrier or let them ride their own bikes except in our own neighborhood. And our own neighborhood has a couple of bat-shit drivers who don't watch the road for kids or for anything that could get in their way.

Anyway, yeah, I want to start riding my bike around for minor errands instead of always taking the car. I hate walking (really, I do: the last time I walked over a mile, some assholes in a truck whistled at me. I am not young, beautiful or slim or in anyway anything other than a mother, so WTF...but it made me NOT want to walk anymore. That and my feet hurt). But a bike? That's different. Always loved biking when I was a kid.

Tall Boy and I are also going to pick up helmets that fit, of course. Then, after we all get used to the bikes and riding around and the rules of the road, I'll get a rack so we can take the bikes to Griffith Park or down the beaches where there's a 20 mile long trail.

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