|Me after purchasing a new bike from my neighbor Pete H.|
Again folks, I apologize for being remiss in not posting timely blog postings. My lame excuse is that I'm just so preoccupied with yard work (which I love), playing online Scrabble (which I also love), taking naps (which I really love) and just coasting along. But just because I haven't been posting doesn't mean my fabulous life here in southern Delaware has slowed down. Oh no, not one bit folks. Not one bit.
The latest is that I bought a bike. Yep, the old man here bought a bike.
|Me riding a bike for the first time in thirty-six years - I can still do it! Riding a bike is like having sex, you never forget how to do it (or is it the other way around?)|
The last time I had a bike was when I lived in Philadelphia. I didn't have a car (Bill provided that transportation) but I did have a cool bike which I used often, primarily to ride around Kelly Drive by the Art Museum.
|Me on my bike September 1, 1974 Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Art Museum area|
When we moved out of Philly in 1980 to East Brandywine Township outside of Downingtown, a suburb 37 miles west of Philadelphia, I no longer had the use of a bike. I sold my trusty bike to my former boss Bill Price. Yep, that bike lived on for many years.
|Me filling my bicycle tires up with air prior to my Kelly Drive, Philadelphia, PA ride September 1, 1974 - oh but I can't bend my legs like that now!|
So let's do a little calculation here. I moved out of Philly in 1980 and this is 2016. According to my calculations that's 36 years since I've had a bike. Well, first thing: WHERE DOES THE TIME GO? Are you kidding me? Thirty-six years? Wow. Time does really fly when you're having fun. Not that the past thirty-six years has been ALL fun but it certainly has been interesting.
|Me in Provincetown, Mass with my rented bike with a basket - yes a basket needed for those visits to the local grocery store - I rented an apartment during my summer stays in Provinctown|
For the past few years I've been considering getting a bike again. Just for the freedom of feeling fresh air caressing my old weathered face. Old man riding a bike. Watch out!
What kind of bike to get? Where would I get it? How would I get it back here?
Well, that question was answered when I saw an e-mail from our neighborhood e-mail group. One of my neighbors was offering his bike for sale:
He posted his phone number. I called and expressed interest. By the way, "$500 new"? Is that what bikes cost these days? Man oh man, I think I bought my paper boy bike for $39 back in 1954. Of course $39 was a LOT of money back then but wow, $500 is a LOT today for a bike.
The next day, during a break in our spring monsoon rains, I walked over to my neighbor's place. He was just around the corner from where I live. How convenient.
"Pete", my neighbor opened his garage door and took the bike off the wall. He said he couldn't use this bike anymore because of his enlarged prostrate and the seat was too high. He needed a smaller bike. I wasn't sure about the price of $200 (I'm a lousy bargainer folks). I said I wanted to get the bike checked out at the local bike shop before I made a decision. Pete immediately dropped the price to $100 "as is." He said the difference should "take care of the tuneup and anything else." Well, I'm no dummy so I accepted his $100 price immediately.
I then asked if I could take the bike for a test drive. First time in thirty-six years folks that my butt is placed on one of those skinny bike seat. Would I know how to drive a bike? Well, you know what they say, "you always remember how to ride a bike" and I did folks. Wow, how refreshing it was to ride that bike. I did have a concern about the twenty-one gears but my Travel Buddy Pat assured me "that will come naturally." But I'm telling you folks, I did like the ride. Just have to be careful about the family jewels when hopping on the bike seat and yes, I did have an "accident" once way back in my paper boy days when I wasn't paying attention and hopped on my bicycle and . . . . well, my fellow males will understand what I'm talking about. I saw stars that day folks. Stars that I'll never forget.
|Me riding my first bike Boot Road, Downingtown, PA 1954 - my "Paper Boy" bike - me and that bike covered a lot of miles delivering the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and the West Chester Daily Local News - Sunday deliveries were the toughest|
I wrote out a check for $100 to Pete and left with my new bike.
Now I had to arrange to have a tuneup and get fenders on this bike. I don't want that mud slapping up my back when I ride my bike on a wet day. Been there, done that.
My kind and generous neighbor Bob M. took me and my new bike down to the Lewes Bicycle shop in his pick up truck. No, I wasn't going to ride my bike down to Lewes and it wouldn't fit in the back of my Subaru Forester.
At the Lewes Bicycle Shop (pictured in the blog banner on this posting), I told Glenn that I needed a tuneup, new fenders, a back rack, headlights and a tail light reflector. Guess what? That will come to over $200. Hmmmm. Now I'm think maybe I should have just bought a brand new bicycle in Glenn's shop. He had several, bright and shiny new colorful bikes on display. And you know me, I like NEW. Oh well, I'm committed now to my "previously owned" bike. I'm ready to embark on a whole series of adventures with the new worlds that are now open to me with the freedom of riding my new bike. Yippee!