Monday, April 25, 2016

Found ~ Old Treasure

Like many American kids growing up in the 50s & 60's I had bicycles. We lived close to our schools and in an ostensibly safer time, so we often rode our bikes to school. We rode them to visit our friends and to run errands for Mom. We did not ride with helmets. My parents had some rules for riding though. As the oldest child, I was granted permission to ride from the corner (our house was the 4th house from the corner heading southwest) to the 2nd streetlight on the block. Way cool. Then this happened! My brother (two years younger) was granted permission to do the same as long as he was with me! I'm sure I was supposed to appreciate the trust Mom and Dad had in me to give me responsibility for keeping my brother safe, yet I found it annoying and wanted to ride all the way to the streetlight by myself.

There were other biking incidents...falls and scraped knees and elbows, a bike stolen from my parents garage (which we often didn't close because we lived in ostensibly safer times), heck I even created an independent study PE class in college with my friend Soozi! Our final was a ride from the campus in Ottawa, Kansas to the suburbs of Kansas City where Soozi was from. Thank goodness for Soozi's Mom.  She drove us back. We passed, probably received A's as our grade!

In 1976 I bought a bike for about $100 (as I recall) while living in Ft. Collins, CO. At the time it was considered a pretty good bike for the money. It was my primary mode of transportation. I loved this bike. In 1979, it traveled with me to Seattle. In 1986 it was loaded onto the moving van and came with me to NJ, and then to Cherry Hill. I think I rode it a few times when riding bikes with my kids. My son rode it quite a bit for a year or so. Including a race with his friend Eric through an east coast hurricane!

In 2006 when I gave up my "Jersey Girl" life and returned to Seattle, the bike came cross-country in a moving truck again and was hung on hooks in the garage. It was 30 years old, rusty, with flat tires. But I loved it and couldn't/wouldn't let go. I took it to a good local bike store to see if they would fix it. They suggested it really wasn't worth their time. So back to the hooks in the garage.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2015. A former colleague and now a great friend, Jerry and I meet to catch up over beers (we both seem to like dark beer). He is an avid biker. He's biked in India and Europe, among other places. He and his wife often ride tandem (I always thought that would be cool, and have yet to try). While we are enjoying our beer, we are talking about biking and I tell him my bike story and then this happens:

"Gena, I love to tinker with old bikes! I'd be happy to look at and maybe work on your bike".

BOOM! Done.

So the bicycle, my favorite bicycle, was taken over to Jerry's garage and about a week later he called and said it's done. So we met for breakfast (no beer, just pancakes), and he put my bike (now beautiful again) in the back of my car.

Jerry is today's guest blogger. Follow the link below to read and see (plenty of links to pictures) what he did with my bike.

My Bike

I haven't ridden it yet. I got it back as the rainy season here in Seattle began. But now the sun is out and days are getting longer. Jerry and I will take a ride together at some point...I've told him it needs to be flat (a little challenging here in hilly Seattle). And riding, at least in good weather will be a nice addition to my exercise routine. And these days, I do own and wear a helmet. And I'd really love one of those biking jersey's. Maybe I should get Jerry this one as a "thank you" as he wouldn't let me pay him for the work he did!

I love my friends. And my new found treasure!


All credit for this one to my friend Jerry!!

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