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Friday, August 29, 2014

My new 'old' bike

My bike and I last week

Recently I resurrected an old friend - my three speed bike from graduate school.  Back in the day when I was at the University of Wisconsin in Madison I rode that bike everywhere.  I used to call it my 'horse' and never walked if I could ride.  Once when the bike was in the shop for repairs I got shin splints from the unusual exercise of actually having to walk to class.  

I rode it in the snow and ice during winter, in the rain, even out on the lake-ice when Lake Mendota was frozen over, back from bars, down railroad tracks - everywhere.  And when I moved to Kodiak the bike came along too in the back of my Chevy S-10.  I'm pretty sure that if I moved someplace else today I would not be able to fit everything in the back of a pickup truck like I did then.

For a few years after I moved I continued to use the old bike here on Kodiak.  My 'old ride' did some hard duty as a 'mountain bike'.  I remember biking to Saltery Cove with my neoprene waders full of ice and in a backpack.  Then I'd use the waders and catch a couple of silver salmon and put them back into the once -again ice filled waders for the ride home.  In the photo below you can see that I also used the bike to ride up the Saltery Cove Road to access summer snow for skiing.

Somehow around 2000 I was convinced to buy a true mountain bike - another Schwinn same make as the old three speed - and for a few years I really got into mountain biking. Meanwhile the old three speed had some gear/chain issues and got retired to the ceiling of my barn.  It hung there for almost 15 years until just about a month ago when I decided to get it repaired.

And then I rode it for the first time in what seemed like forever.  WOW! The old saw is true about how once learned you never forget how to ride a bike.  That bike just feels so right.  Rather than bending down over the handle bars one sits back and enjoys the ride.  It's a perfect 'around town' bike.

At the start of a bike ride down the Saltery Cove road in 1999 - I got my skiis on the backpack.  Back then I tried to go downhill skiing at least once a month

State Street in Madison, WI 1993 - I took this photo while riding my bike.   I always bought my coffee beans at the 'Steep and Brew' seen on the left.

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