Friday, June 5, 2009

A bike with as much character as it's owner.

I love the minimilist style of this guy's much loved whip. I made a u-turn when I spotted it parked at Cheepest Damn Cigarettes on Cornhusker Hwy. It's owner came out and proudly told me, with a more-or-less toothless, ear to ear smile, that it's an old Sears bike that would have had a 'gas tank' on the top tube with headlights built in. He said it was a single speed until he put in a 3-speed hub and frame shifter. He explained he liked the coaster break and frame mounted shifter cause it kept his 'bars clean'. I hope I didn't look shocked as I thought "clean" is not what I would have thought would be a priority to him. I guessed it was his only mode of transportation. The cyclist looked like he'd seen as many hard miles and living as his ride did. But his friendly personality and inviting demenor seemed as pure and innocent as a vintage Sears bike on a beautiful summer day. I loved this bike, it's colorful owner and the many, many other glimpses into humanity I find on my commutes. Get out of your car, cubical, or crappy self centered mindset and spend some time outdoors. You'll quickly realize it's a beautiful, colorful world and your missing out on it. Life is short. Meeting a cyclist like this, with so much pride in his worthless antique bike and great attitude eventhough I've probally thrown away more opportunities than he'll ever have, solidifys in my mind that happiness is a right we're all entitled to and if your not happy it's your own fault. Are our bikes a reflection of ourselves??? His was stripped down and pure. Mine is cluttered and heavy. And so is my bike. The guy with the old Sears bike had a brand new pack of smokes and his simple trusty steed that's all he needs to be happy. Who am I to think I'm entitled to more? Why do I weigh down and clutter my life? What began as a quick u-turn to get a closer look at an unusual bike became an opportunity to take a closer look at myself. Who'd you meet on your way home from work today? I met a proud, happy man with a simple Sears bike who looked like Tiltawhirl John. And a stressed guy with a complicated bike that I call "me".

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