|A borrowed image of someon else's Giant Iguana.|
I rode the Iguana a lot when the weather was good. Nobody wore bike helmet back then so I never had humidity induced helmet hair. This time around I did worry about it getting stolen since bikes locks were getting cut in broad daylight all over campus. I kept my bike locked up in my studio space in the art building. I trusted my fellow ceramics major to protect both my little dog, Pepper and my mountain bike.
When I moved to Louisville for grad school, I only used my Iguana a few times to get to class. Louisville, at that time, was nowhere near as bike-friendly as Athens. I hung it up after my first experience at being screamed at by a meathead. The bike stayed with me for another 10 years, rarely used except for a brief period of recreational biking in Cherokee Park, than until I sold it for $150 to a 5'0" male art student. Did I mention that the bike was a small? He was thrilled with it, as it was in pristine condition. Other than that, I don't know what became of it and never give it much thought. Naturally, I was without a bike for several years afterward.
My next and much bigger bike purchased occurred a few brief hours after running my first Derby Mini Marathon in 2000. There's nothing like running your first half marathon to charge up that part of the brain that loves spending money you don't have. I was buzzed from what was then a huge athletic accomplishment, and fueled by a sugar and caffeine packed Starbuck's Frozen Frappaccino, the additional thrill of buying a bike and becoming a professional mountain bike racer pulled me across the street to Bardstown Road Bicycles. Within those doors, I met my soon-to-be neighbor, buddy and romantic advisor Winn, who, with unmatched salesmanship and considerable charm, soon closed the deal on a striking Specialized Rockhopper in kiwi, black and pearly white. I believe he sold me a lock, a helmet and some bike accessories as well.
I paid over $500 for the Rockhopper, lock and accessories and after the delirium of the Mini and the Frappaccino lifted I was determined that I would get my monies out of this purchase. And I did. In the eight years that I owned that bike, I pedaled it all over Louisville, to and from its numerous Fredrick Law Olmsted parks and across the growing miles of greenway that runs along the Ohio River and Bear Grass Creek. All my miles consisted of hot, sweaty, recreational riding. No stopping to shop or rummage through a book store; stops were limited to refilling my water bottle, munching on a peanut Clif Bar or admiring the view of the Ohio and downtown Louisville from Southern Indiana. I mostly pedaled on roads and paved multi-use paths but occasionally took the bike over rocky, muddy, occasionally hazardous, single-track trails in Cherokee Park. I was by no means a "serious" rider but I usually took my bike out for at least an hour each week, except during the winter, as a good means of cross training, since by that time I was running around 30 miles per week.
In 2006 my fiance and I moved to Flagstaff. Now you would think that in a little mountain town and just 30 minutes up the road from Sedona's red rock country that I'd have immediately started taking my mountain bike out of the trails. Were I not terrified and repulsed by dirt and dust I probably would have. It rains in Louisville so dirt turns to mud and there is not dust but I really hate dirt. It's dry and I hate touching it or feeling it anywhere on my body. I have a similar aversion to flour, which is really unfortunate if you like to bake cookies. Because I was more committed to running than biking, I tolerated the dry dirt and dust in order to go trail running, the only kind of running people seem to do here, but it was difficult. And mildly disgusting. But I digress. The Rockhopper sat mostly unused in our garage . . .
|A downtown fashion shot with the Specialized Expedition in 2009.|
|A morning ride into work, equipped with a pannier.|
|The stunning ruby red Breezer Uptown 8.|
|On the way to work with my new Dahon Eco 3.|
It was settled; I would definitely sell my Specialized. Of course, the Specialized represented a lot of firsts for me and many happy times for Bob and me. Just selling it to any Joe-the-street seemed somehow disloyal to a bicycle that done well by me. The Specialized could not go to just anyone.
|Angie, early this fall, out for coffee with me Phoenix.|
Angie communicated my set price of $200 (including 2 panniers, a wicker bike basket, and a Planet Bike headlight) to Emily. "She wants it!", reported Angie. She suggested that they drive up from Phoenix on New Year's Day and spend the night. Superb! It was settled.
Angie and Emily arrived last Sunday evening. We ate a wonderful New Year's meal and closed the deal. I will add as a side note that Emily works at a veterinary clinic and declared that, despite my denial, Daisy appeared to be quite heavy with child and should be seen by our vet in the next couple of days as Chihuahuas often require a Cesarean section.
|Daisy nursing her son, Mocha. I had to work a picture in, didn't I?|
But back to Emily and her new bike. Bob adjusted the breaks for her after finding them too tight. We also suggested that she raise the seat post a bit as my seating position appeared to be a bit low for her. I suggested that she might want to try one of NiteRider's really excellent battery lights if she plans to do much riding after dark as well as a couple of really good bike locks if she plans to ever leave it at a Metro Rail stop.
|Emily and her newly acquired Specialized Expedition, tricked out for bike commuting, or shopping at the farmers market.|