These old shoes


I’ve acquired some pretty nice bikes over the years. Nice shiny, colorful, titaniumey things. Saddles that smell of a rich leathery Shepler’s store. But sometimes it’s the runt of the litter that steals our hearts. It’s in our human nature to feel sorry for things, and we tend to go out of our way to provide more attention and adoration to those that persevere despite drawing life’s short straw. Of all my rides in some pretty amazing places, I’d have to say my fondest moments have been on this old Schwinn. I bought it off Craigslist for $40, not 2 weeks before some friends from around the country (& Venezuela!) were to join me on a few days of self-contained bike-camping across Missouri on the Katy Trail. I received the bike in “working” order, but it was spray-painted in General Lee orange, had a crunchy front hub & bottom bracket, and an electric blue metallic vinyl bar wrap. I found first-time uses for several tools from my Nashbar kit I’d bought ten years earlier, disassembled her completely and repacked grease in most every crevice possible. Replaced cracked tires with some $15/ea Schwalbes, spray-canned it a nice metallic sage, molded and mounted a Sacagawea dollar coin to her head tube and set forth on adventure. She’s taken me (part way) across Missouri a couple times now, and never let me down. Sacagawea sits lonely in the garage all but a few rides/year, and I’ve considered selling a couple times to free up space, but too many good times are still to be had. Sit. Stay. Good Girl.

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