& so it begins... by Troy Martin
And So It Begins!
I still kinda chuckle. I spent a couple hundred on old yeller about 15 years ago. It was probably 20 years old then. A yellow Pinarello race bike. The first over 12 speed I’d ever owned. It’s so old that it doesn’t have any other name. That I know of. I’ve tried to find one.
It had these funny pedals so I went to the bike store to make them work. They wanted half the cost of the bike for shoes! So I bought the least expensive ones that I could find. Only last year did I learn that they were for mountain bikes. Lol
I used it for commuting. A great bike. Rode it for a few summers. Got hit by a van & I strangely didn’t ride it as much after that.
Flashback, when I was a kid, I had a paper route. I wanted a Skyway BMX with the plastic ( we call the light weight gear carbon now ) 5-spoke rims. Blue & yellow. My little piece of freedom! I humped papers by foot for 6 months to get that bike when I was 10 years old. And then I used it for delivering papers (including towing a self built trailer on Sundays (matching blue and yellow) because those suckers were 2-3 pounds each & I had 30 of them! But I had freedom. I loved that bike! I rode it everywhere & as often as possible. It was the only new bike I’ve ever had...until this year. More on that later.
Of course, I grew out of the BMX. Strangely, I don’t recall what I did with it. Hmm. I guess I just grew up. I moved to cars & jobs & school & such. Bikes became a tool to save money on gas. Particularly thru my years in university.
At the end of my years there, my uncle gave me my first race bike. A 12 speed Raleigh. I really thought it was something else with the 12 speed! It was my commuter. I used it particularly in the summers that I came home from university to work & my rides were 60km every day for the entire summer. Summers were hot. July & August were 32-36 degrees almost every day. A frozen water bottle would only last an hour. I was falling asleep at work & couldn't figure out why until the guys I worked with gave me salt pills. Crazy!
Life moved on, I moved to Alberta & initiated my career. My wife & I started a life, so cycling was put aside except for getting on mountain bikes to cruise around on & be cool because they were the thing. We had kids & rode with them. Just the standard things.
As stated at the beginning, I got a bit of a bug to ride again. Just to commute ...... it faded.
Then three years ago, my friend asked me if I’d be interested in a ride. Just hang out & ride. I found my only pair of spandex (yes spandex - the original) shorts with the pad in them & my mountain bike shoes on my Pinarello. With a regular cotton muscle shirt because I thought I’d look & feel cool in it. Well...at least I felt cool temperature wise. My buddy still smiles when we talk about that first ride together.
That first ride...the first one in years where it was more than 20km, no need to be anywhere at any time... than it hit me, you know...that feeling...