Saturday, December 28, 2013

Aww Yeeaah! What A Beautiful Day to Ride a Bike!

Riding in the country on my 1988 Schwinn Le Tour

I don't photograph my rides as much as I should and I really need to start taking my cameras on my rides more. I have seen some breathtaking landscapes that a cell phone picture just can't justify, and in the future I will try to get into the habit of lugging around my real cameras again. This picture, however, did a good job of summing up today's bike ride through the countryside on my old 80's Schwinn Le Tour road bike, the latest edition to my stable of vintage bikes. Today the weather was awesome, 65 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I rode about 17 miles out to the country and back from my house on this trusty old steel bike with toeclips. This isn't the fastest bike that I own by far, but it is one of the most comfortable bikes that I have. It handled descents that normally feel twitchy on my other bikes with stability and grace. It absorbed all the road imperfections and I didn't feel any soreness despite not riding with gloves or padded shorts today. I felt I got a great workout despite riding in my Vans tennis shoes, jeans, T-shirt and pullover sweater. I definitely did not look like a typical roadie.

I wasn't looking for another bike when this bike came along, In fact, this bike found me through a friend of mine trying to sell the bike that once belonged to her dad. All the bike needed was some new tires, shifter cables and bar wrap and she was ready to go. The chain and freewheel will probably need to be replaced in the near future, but for now I am content to ride it the way it is, despite it's minor imperfections. The squeaky freewheel and the extra weight actually give the bike some character.  I have already dragged my child stroller on it, and it is officially the go to bike for rides with the kid in tow. 

The Schwinn is now the trailer puller, commuter and general workhorse bike.

Pretty soon I will no longer be living near these nice country roads which have offered some captivating scenery over the past three years. From glowing sunrises and rays of light beaming through the trees in the early mornings, to golden and auburn autumns where the monotony of crimson reds and canary yellows is only broken by the deep blue sky and the lake nearby that mirrors it. From dogs chasing me as I ride along fields of wheat and old red barns, to diving into foggy descents on overcast and chilly mornings. These are some of the memories I will treasure from this place, and, who knows, I may come back just to ride out here again. I am more excited about where I will be riding in the future as it holds a good mix of urban cycling with the countryside not that far away. Hopefully the roads will be as hospitable as the ones I am used to riding and hopefully I will be riding more, exploring more. Stay tuned and subscribe for more posts from a Bicycle's Point Of View.

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