03 November 2014

Farewell Dusty Steed

I last saw you in the parking garage of M.D. Anderson Professional Building on the 16th of October. I felt certain that you were safe, some 10 yards from a guard kiosk, with the lock through rear wheel and frame, in a sturdy bike rack, but no.

When I returned from my visit to my girlfriend, you were gone.

I remember when we first met. You had been abandoned, shackled to a gas meter behind an apartment building, you tires rotted, your saddle sodden but unworn. Your old master had been sick, you see, and could no longer care for you. “Take him, please, with my blessings” he told me.

And I replaced your perished rubber. I oiled your chain and packed your bearings. I got you a proud new saddle of bright yellow which looked oh so fine with your dark green classic Schwinn chrome-moly frame. “Suburban” said one sticker, and “Made in USA” proclaimed another.

We were neither of us young. You were a product of the 80s, when it was still possible to be a 5 speed and proud . You disdained to be fettered with a rack, leaving only the mounting bracket affixed within your rear brake bolts. My neglecting to re-install the bolts on your down-tube probably caused you some pains in the bottom bracket on winter mornings, but you never complained.

But your handlebars! Remember when they were so broad and flat that we couldn't get between parked cars? Then I took the sawzall and trimmed them, and moved the brakes and shifter and grips? And then we could dance, my old friend, moving with precision and speed. Moving confidently through combat with the motor vehicles, and passing the posers all outfitted on the bike paths.

I miss you, my dusty steed.

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