19 June 2008

number 9



the bike, she is mine. and this is because I was on a roll that day. I'd been to a couple of church basement sales and I was feeling lucky. when I saw her parked outside my favorite thrift shop, I knew I'd be no match for her wobbly charms. actually, the first thing I spied was that basket. that's what sold me. wait, is that wrong? that I almost bought a bike because of the basket? in my defense, there was also a bell. another total bonus. but I knew I couldn't buy a bike without riding it first. no, I could not.

so I had the nice lady who worked there unlock the bike for me. which is when I sort of panicked. suddenly, I couldn't remember the last time I rode a bike. imaginary fingers inside my head frantically flipped through file after file after file of memory. college, high school, junior high... junior high, maybe. big maybe. 20 some years since my last bike ride? really? now I wasn't sure if I was even physically capable of riding. and there was the issue of my skirt, my clunky dr. scholl sandals. what if I wiped out in the parking lot? in front of the nice lady, my husband, my son and the three people looking through piles of gently stained blouses and pablo cruise cassette tapes? I hiked my leg up over the tan seat anyway. off I went. and it's true what they say. they don't say what they say just to be saying it. it's true, you never forget.



I am now the proud owner of one very sweet tan and white slightly rusted bicycle. with a basket and a bell. the flowers came later. I'll tell you, I love her. I forgot how much fun it is to ride a bike. around the neighborhood I go, over and over. I can't stop grinning, I love it. how could I have gone for so long without riding a bike? how? I'm 9 years-old all over again, I'm zipping all over the place, I'm one step away from popping wheelies.

number 9 off the list, done. and probably the best thing I've done in a long, long time.

27 comments:

  1. My kids and I are going to try biking this summer as much as possible. I have had a bike that I have moved with for the last several years. The last time I rode a bike was Junior high. I was wondering if I would remember how to do it. Glad to hear it's possible.
    -Kelly (pdx'er)

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  2. so stoked for you, mrs andrea. your getting your bike reminded me of my experience last year when i fell deeply in love with my own bike with baskets and a horn and it took me back to 10 years old. here's the link with the story: http://kellyraeroberts.blogspot.com/2007/06/feeling-like-im-10-years-old-and-self.html
    enjoy every minute of your new shiny bike!
    k

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  3. Welcome back to the wonderful world of riding bikes. I, too, am a fan.

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  4. Absolutely loved this post!
    I'm so happy for you.
    What a beauty she is!
    Thanks for the ride.

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  5. I got my bike stolen in April and I've been feeling helpless without it. Esp since Chattanooga is SO rideable! My husband is training for a bike trip across Iowa and so he rides for like 40 miles and comes home. Crazy. I just wanna hook my kiddie trailer up again and ride my kids to the downtown haunts. I'll get another. But then I'll be to pregnant to ride it :( My time will com again!

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  6. Andrea, I literally gasped with glee when I clicked on this post and saw the picture at the top. Every time I hop on my cruiser this season I've been wondering...how is that hunt going? And now I know. It's gone good! ;)

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  7. I understand where you are coming from completely. I recently rediscovered my love for biking while on vacation. I had the same thought: "When was the last time I rode one of these things?" My husband and I loved it so much that we have been itching ever since to purchase our own. Yours looks fabulous. Baskets and bells are important factors for consideration most definitely.

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  8. a bell and a basket??? how could you not. happy june to you!

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  9. Oh, that's BRILLIANT! You go!

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  10. Your bike is a beauty!
    Lovely...

    i don't even own a car. i do everything on my bike (that's including my 2 little kids also on the bike!)
    i am dutch, the distances in this tiny country make it possible to go anywhere by bike.
    i love it, even when it's raining...
    You'll never want to go without your bike anymore.

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  11. This looks like the perfect bike! Love the basket and the fact that it has a bell. Way to cross number 9 off your list...

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  12. OH! yeah for you! i just got a new bike too and i feel the same way! of course, we promptly left for orcas island where it is too hilly and narrow and scary to ride my cute bike, but once we get home to denver, where it is nice and flat, i am all over that thing!

    have fuN!

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  13. absolutely perfect. i had the same feeling of fear when i got a bike in college and realized that it had probably been (not quite 20) about 8 years since i'd ridden a bike. it was a little embarrasing as i kept trying to convince the guy that the seat was too high. but it was the greatest feeling. and i've never gone back. enjoy!

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  14. very cute indeed. a great score!!!

    i bought henry this bike a while back (before he even knew how to ride) and it looked so pitiful and beat up in the goodwill, people probably thought i was a terrible momma for wheelin' that thing up to the register with such a huge grin on my face. as you can see though, a little light scrub with the brillo and it was good as new!!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/justjenny/124342406/in/set-72057594061516706?edited=1

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  15. Just what I needed today...a BIG smile across my face as I read your description...Wonderful

    Debra Ruth

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  16. that's so cool! i love old-timey bikes!

    check out my ride:

    http://andreablanragg.blogspot.com/2007/07/this-just-in.html

    love that girl.

    i need a bell.

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  17. I am searching for a vintage bike that makes me feel just like this!

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  18. perfection.
    I haven't blogged about my vintage schwinn yet but I'll show her to you soon soon soon.
    ;)
    wanna race?

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  19. Perfectly acceptable to buy a vintage bike for the basket, I have bought one for the name.
    Enjoy!

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  20. fantastic andrea, really, high high five!!! i'd say you were seriously wise for making her yours, no doubt these special connections with memories make life almost unbearably beautiful.

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  21. jennifer (dreemintrea)June 20, 2008 1:20 AM

    oh friend...yes. i would buy a bike for the basket as well. i found the BESTEST bike (orangey-red...wicker basket..one of those book rack thingies over the rear wheel) on craigslist a few years back...$100!!! i called right away...alas it already had a new owner. i was crushed. no bike since has been able to woo me...and i want one so badly. sigh. for now...for now i shall soak in the happiness of *your* nine year old finding what she longed for and i will encourage mine to keep seeking. hugs! me

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  22. darling, you said it. i picked up a pretty, old, green schwinn on craigslist two weeks ago, and rode for the first time in 7 years. you said it. it's the best feeling in the world...to be nine again and free. i think we also have matching baskets. and of course we'll be able to ride to each other's houses as planned. :)

    this is wonderful, and i am so so SO happy for you.

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  23. Riding bikes is like flying. Who doesn't want to feel that? Congratulations on your new flyer!

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  24. let's go for a bike ride together. my red schwinn would match your flowers ever so perfectly. :o)

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  25. she is lovely!
    congratulations, ms. stylie!

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  26. oh what a lovely bike. I want to get one. Hmmmm I think i really need a list!

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