After college I wanted to take my Gary Fisher with me to Colorado, but I couldn’t fit it in my car. I went through a experimental phase with a road bike that constantly got flat tires when I rode it around town. Worse still, it had these bizarre racing tires that had the tubes stitched to the wheel, so if you got a flat you had to unsew the tire, put on the patch, and sew it back up again. Not exactly my kind of a bike.
I was reunited with my Gary Fisher when my parents drove up to visit me; they graciously brought the bike with them. I was ecstatic; I began to go on longer rides around town. Like the Silver Stallion, I now had the freedom of exploring the town in a way I couldn’t have with a car or on foot.
I went through a number of jobs and the thing that united my experience was the ability to ride to work. Only one job I took required a car commute, but that was a temporary gig.
I’ve talked before about the bike path in Boulder. Let me say here that the Boulder bike path should be used as a template for all cities in this and every country on the planet. You didn’t have to ride on the shoulder of the road, hoping that SUV wouldn’t roll right over you. Yet the bike path went almost everywhere you needed to go. It was fantastic.
My happiest rides were from my job to the apartment where my girlfriend lived. I worked near the university, so I’d pedal through campus. In the winter it would be nearing dark when I rode, so I used bike lights to see once I got off the well-lit campus path. I’d pass by the two new dorms the university built, then the path went straight through a grassy field. After that I’d be in her neighborhood. When I got to her place, I’d call up and we would have dinner together, usually something warm and delicious (sometimes just warm was good enough). Then we’d watch DVDs on her computer. It all felt very cozy.
There were some weeks in the winter when I didn’t ride. I don’t think riding in the snow and ice is ever a good idea. But even on a cold day, riding your bike was easier than taking a car. No hassles with parking, no traffic jams. It’s less stressful and makes running errands almost athletic.
When my girlfriend and I moved, I decided my Gary Fisher was meant to stay in Colorado. I sold it at a sporting goods consignment store. I’m sure it is still loved.