A Life of Bikes

Other than Trikes and kiddie cycles, my first bike was a Redline BMX bike that I built myself.  It was 1977, I was 10 years old, and BMX was big.  I spent months gathering parts for this machine by any means necessary.  Ultimately, I honestly don’t remember what happened to this apparatus.  My next bike, if memory serves me, was a 70’s Peugeot road bike in the classic red color that seemed so popular back then. It sported Simplex derailleurs, Maillard hubs, and Mafac brakes. Honestly, I never really liked the bike all that much, but still, it was a bike, and A bike is better than NO bike.

Sometime later, there was a Schwinn Le Tour..  This machine was really something I revered. I loved that bike. It was a heavy tank of a vehicle, as all sub 500 dollar units were, but I had big ideas about riding this thing very far.  Eventually it was stolen.

Le Tour
Again, this one wasn’t mine, but it looked just like this puppy…

Then there were a couple of Sears and Montomery Wards “bicycles”; These babies were cheap transportation to high school, but that’s about it.  Luckily, they too were stolen.

During High School, I had a circuit of lawn mowing customers throughout the neighborhood. One summer, I mowed and mowed and mowed. I had recently ridden a friends Miyata MTB and fell in love with this new kind of bicycle. This was 1982 or 83.  I decided that I wanted the game changing 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper.  By the time school started again in the fall, I had half of what I needed. My mother, bless her heart, covered the rest.

'84 StumpJumper
This one’s not mine, but it was just like…

To me, the Stumpjumper was the ultimate; it had some of shimano’s best ever offerings in the original Deore line up, plus those great looking Specialized cranks and hubs that really were a testament to how great these parts were during that time period.  Alas, that bike too was stolen, and though I did not I give up on bicycles, I  focused my energy all the way on rock climbing and mountaineering, which, in turn, pretty much consumed me for the next 25 years.

A couple years out of high school, I moved to Washington D.C. to pursue a romantic relationship with Judy Paddon.  I became a bicycle courier in the D.C. metro, and my weapon of choice was a GT Karakoram. The GT was a good bike, and it became even better as I wore the thing out pedaling it  300 miles a week, and upgrading parts as they went.

Misc. Bicycle-6
The GT Karakoram, Slickrock, 1990

After moving to Moab in February 1990, it was all mountain bikes, everything from The fantastic Bianchi Grizzly (AKA The Green Bastard) to the more advanced, fully suspended, long travel, All Mountain, Freeride, and Downhill bikes of modern times..

..But that is another story all together.

The Green Bastard stops for lunch
The Griz in action

2 thoughts on “A Life of Bikes

  1. OK Linus; my bicycle history:
    -mid ’60’s stingray clone that my dad got used from a guy at work and we painted it red.
    -another used one my dad picked up, w sturmy archer 3 speed gears if i remember right.
    -non descript consumer 10 speed for commuting to work on mare island. sold to a shipfitter for–
    -Puch with a copper electroplated frame and a Wrights full grain (and a half) leather saddle. if the paint chipped it looked like a new penny. Stolen.
    -White Front 10 speed with the first canteliver gears i ever saw – converted to DIY mountain bike.
    -Beautiful new Novara from REI. Girlfiend ran it over when i broke up with her. i was not on it. This was the bike i was riding to work and Sac City College when we met in Sacramento.
    – +/- 1983 SR Semi Pro with a couple of surviving Novara parts thrown in for old times sake. The daily ride; it’s sweet as a stolen kiss and i i’m looking for a coffin big enough for the both of us to be burried together in.

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