Summer Bike, Winter Bike

I’m a bike guy.  If I fantasize about winning the lottery, my daydreams usually turn to which bikes I would buy.  I like cars too, but for me they are more about functionality than love.  With cars, you consider whether they can fit the entire family for a long road trip, or whether the gas mileage meets your needs.  But what recreational cyclist really needs to shave off 10 grams by getting the nicest wheels?  Most people would scoff at spending several thousands of dollars on a bike, but, if I could, that would be just the start!

As September stretches on, we can expect fewer and fewer sunny days here in Seattle and that means fewer and fewer chances to ride my summer bike.  Like many cyclists around here, I have a couple of bikes, one I ride during the rainy months and one that comes out only when the forecast is for clear skies.  My summer bike is an older steel-framed Colnago that my wife bought me a few years back.  It’s not the newest bike, but she’s a beauty and rides like butter.  When I get in the saddle, it feels fast and responsive, and I love taking it out for afternoon rides to Seward park—about 23 miles round trip from my house.  There’s something special about those rides.  Maybe it’s the view of Mt. Rainier from Lake Washington Boulevard, or the chance to take a break from the day’s obligations for ninety minutes, but whatever the reason, it’s one of my favorite parts of summer.

This weekend, though, I was getting my winter bike ready for action.  She’s an old Serotta Special X—another steel-framed beauty—and I have to admit, it felt good to take her for a spin around the neighborhood.  The funny thing about my winter bike is that it’s the one I ride the most.  Every morning, rain or shine, my daughter and I saddle up and ride to school together and then I continue on to work.  I never take her out for long rides but the miles pile up and she keeps on rolling as smooth as ever.  She has old-fashioned down-tube shifters and a worn out saddle, but I feel at home when I ride her.  I suppose it’s like an old friend who you haven’t spoken to for months and when you finally get back together you pick up right where you left off.  So I’m sad that I’ll be saying goodbye to my summer bike for now, but, at the same time, it sure is nice to have a familiar friend to get through the long months of winter with again.

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