my blue delight

This is my new bike. Bike wizard, Bobby Nelson, created it for me. I talked and he made it happen. I originally took my old bike to him to get a little tune up. I had heard that he sometimes went on Craigslist and found old bikes and spruced them up. I had asked him if he could possibly raise the handlebars of my old bike so I wasn’t always crouched over — he said that it was unlikely, but he’d try.

The next day, I had an email with links to four different bikes that were possibilities for me to get an upgrade with not much more money than I would be putting into my old bike (he had suggested that maybe I get new tires as well — I was riding on big, fat mountain bike tires that were much more than I needed and much slower). I looked them over and asked him to suggest something to me. He made a recommendation and he made a phone call and told me that we could go over to look at the bike the very next day.

We went over and everything seemed to check out. The bike was only a mile away from his house and the girl selling the bike was very cool. It was a vintage Schwinn, and Bobby was showing me that it had something unique/rare about it — that when you spun the pedals backward at a standstill, the whole chain didn’t spin backward, too. She was also including a U-lock, which was $35 in itself, and she was selling the bike for $50.

I told him it was his call if I should buy the bike … he knew more than I did, and he was going to be the one working on it. He said I should get it, and I gave the girl some cash. We brought the bike back to his house, and he brought me into his kitchen, where stood *another* vintage Schwinn frame — it was a beautiful cobalt blue — one of my favorite colors in life. He asked me if I wanted that frame instead; it wouldn’t cost me anything more, because he had rescued it from the garbage/alley. Ummm… yeah. I want it. He told me he’d end up taking the parts from the bike I bought, put them on the new frame and have it ready in a few days.

True to his word, he had it ready in only a few days. The day I was going to pick it up, I realized that I wanted him to put my water bottle holder on from my new bike. I didn’t really want to sully the great aesthetic of the bike, but I had to be practical — I’m going to be riding the bike in Chicago in summer; I’m going to need to bring some water along. He told me he didn’t have the right kind and would need to pick one up and would have it ready the next day. Or … the next hour, when he texted me and let me know he had managed to work something out and had a water bottle already on my bike. WHAT?

I went to pick up the bike and it was just grand. Handlebars I didn’t have to crouch over. A water bottle holder. A beautiful, blue, vintage frame. A cool, old-school, 5-speed changer (I don’t need 21 gears!). How lovely was this? I had no clue how lovely until today. I went riding through St. Boniface cemetery and wow. I found out how great this bike is. It’s like the bike/s of my childhood. It’s going to be dangerous in that I don’t have to work/exercise very hard. I can coast FOREVER … it just is fast like that. I can pedal for only a little bit and I just coast and coast and coast. I can ride with no hands again … it’s straight and true and balanced.

How lovely! I am so, so, very happy. YAY.


One thought on “my blue delight

  1. Nice bike. My complaint about bikes is the same about cars, you can’t work on them yourselves anymore. I used to change cables, adjust gears all that. Now you pretty much need special tools to calibrate everything. It’s another reason why we are becoming a throw away society. I had an older bike that I took in for a “tune up”. After getting a quote for $250, for all new cables a chain and tires, I just got a new one. They gave me $50 for the old one. So basically for the same $250 I got a new bike.

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