Ruby Shoes

Adventure is good, home is best

Daily Archives: May 10, 2011

Magnificent Obsession


I’ve had a few obsessions over the years. Designer handbags come immediately to mind. When I was a miserable, crabby-assed, frequent-flying corporate tool, I medicated myself with designer handbags. I spent many years stoned on Louis Vuitton. Times are better now. Now, I’m no longer a miserable, crabby-assed, frequent-flying corporate tool and due to my tax status as Gainfully Unemployed, I’ve cut back on the retail therapy. But, still, I obsess now and again. I fixate. I love too much. I might spend the grocery money on something special. Lately, I’ve been obsessing about bikes. I think that’s much healthier than handbags, don’t you? Please nod your heads and say, “Yes, crazy obsessed person in need of psychotherapy.”

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that here I am, at the age of 52, trying to recapture the rapture of being a carefree kid on a bike. There’s nothing carefree about being 52. You got your mortgage to pay, you got your parents dying, you got your AARP card in the mail, you got your wacky in-laws, you got your big beautiful life which sometimes feels much too heavy and complicated. But when I get on my bike, I don’t feel 52. I feel, somehow, ageless. It’s a wonderful lightness I get just by pedaling two wheels down the street.

My first real bike was a CCM Catalina and it was the most beautiful sky blue color. Oh I loved that bike! It looked something like this Galaxie, only I tricked mine out with a banana seat and butterfly handle bars. And I ditched the basket.

CCM Galaxie, circa 1966

I’ve had a lot of bikes since then. Most of them weighed 10,000 pounds or more, until I met my dear friend Suzy, my beautiful, high-maintenance, ill-tempered Spanish supermodel road bike. Well, Suzy is about to be joined by a new friend. She’ll probably throw a hissy fit at having to share the dining room but what evs, as my nieces say. I’m getting a commuter bike. A commuter bike has

  • fatter tires
  • normal pedals
  • normal handle bars, and
  • many fewer gears for me to screw up

My bike should arrive in a couple weeks. It’ll be like Christmas in June and I can’t wait! Did you know that way back when, in olden times, people wore normal clothes to ride bikes? This bike does not require that I wear fancy little Italian shoes with metal clips, nor does it require that I wear clothes made out of Lycra or Spandex or clothes with tight elastic that produce a spectacular constellation of cellulite across my ample thighs. No special gear is required. You just jump on this bike, in whatever you’re wearing, and ride. It’s true.

I had lots of choices of what to buy and where to buy it. After a tremendous amount of research (I emailed my brother, Grasshoppa), I bought my bike at One On One Bike in Minneapolis. No, it’s not because they’re right next door to Sex World, or because they have a coffee bar. No. It’s because they have taxidermy.

Bikes and taxidermy, of course they go together


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