Friday, May 20, 2016

Ron Buys a Bicycle

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!








19 comments:

  1. Trek is a quality brand...you got a good deal!

    :-)

    -Andy

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    1. Thanks Andy! I'm looking forward to all new adventures with my new bike.
      Ron

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  2. Wonderful news! Trek makes a good bike, I own a rather expensive one I bought about 25 years ago. The aluminum frame is lighter and smother to ride than steel. I have a 21 speed hybrid that I use as my daily ride. That is a nice configuration for casual riding. If there is a quick release on the front wheel, it will likely fit in your car with the front wheel dropped off. Once you get the hang of it, it only takes a minute to take the wheel off and put it back on. I had a tune up done on my hybrid this spring, it was $130, you added fenders and lights, $200 sounds like a fair price for that work. Welcome back to wind in the hair,

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    1. David,
      Thanks for the tip of the quick release of my front wheel. I did not know that. This is a hybrid bike so I probably have that release. Now my horizons have expanded and I can take my bike to Cape Henlopen State Park for a ride. I used to ride the state park in Provincetown with my rental bike. I loved it! I think the price the Lewes Bicycle shop quoted me is fair. Thanks again for the reassurance that it was!
      Ron

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    2. Ron, I have a Trek hybrid, and as you know I do not have a car. It is my car, and I love it. I paid $750 for it new! You will enjoy your bike and get some good mild exercise on it during the good seasons.

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    3. Good to hear from you again Tony. I am greatly looking forward to riding my bike. I didn't have a car when I lived in Center City Philly. Like you my bike was "my car." Same thing when I used to vacation in Provincetown, Massachusetts. First thing I did after I got off the commuter plane was to rent a bike, with a basket for my grocery shopping and a place to put my towel and other essentials when I went out to the beach to bake in the sun. It's been too long for me without a bike. I'm glad this opportunity came up.
      Ron

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  3. Ron - the maiden voyage looked a little tenuous at first but after take off - you were a pro. And having a quick second look at the bike it looks to be in very good condition. Here in the city your bike leans up against all types of metal poles and scratches and scrapes are unavoidable. And even tho you paid in the neighbourhood of $350 - you could not have gotten the same quality as you have now. Aluminum body, shocks - and dressed up with carrier, lights and container box. I think you've done well on this purchase - and when you get it back from the shop - it will ride just like a new bike. Actually you've ended up with a great product and saved some good bucks at the same time.
    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      I agree with you, I think I got a good deal. I am very much looking forward to riding my new bike. It's been way too long since I enjoyed the unparalleled pleasures of the wind again my face as I breezed along the byways on my bike.
      Ron

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  4. Congratulations on the bike, Ron, and happy riding! Bikes have sure gotten more costly than when I remember them. Before I had a car I used to ride my bike very often. I thought nothing of riding 20 miles to the beach. Nowadays I couldn't manage twenty feet.
    You obviously haven't forgotten how to ride - and it's great exercise.

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    1. Jon,
      Obviously you couldn't ride a bike in those hills where you are hiding out . . er "living" now (smile). I had to give up my bike when I moved to the hills of Pennsylvania. Bill misses those hills and hates the flat coastal plains of southern Delaware where we now live. But this flat land is perfect for bike riding and I'm going to take advantage.
      Ron

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  5. Yes, it's me, Ron. Still here though not posting comments on as many blogs as I want to, including yours, of course. Computer as unreliable as ever, only now yet moreso - BUT waiting (with modest funds at the ready) to buy new laptop, though with no idea at all which way to turn now. However, I do hope to be bigger and better than ever before too long - with ability to play videos and with sound too, which would be wonderful.

    Anyway, 'nuff about me. Your blog gives me hope that I'd not be alone in getting a bike at my age - though I've never owned one, and the last time I tried to ride one was something like 55 years ago, and even that was only now and again in short spells on the bike of a friend of one of my brothers. But just the thought of being able to extend the horizons of ones life sends pleasurable shivers through me. Whether it would be advisable for someone pushing 70, with virtually no cycling experience, to risk falls and accidents, perhaps - no, probably - involving broken bones is quite another matter.

    (Oh dear. That 2nd para above was all about me as well. Still, it was your posting here which inspired it.)

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    1. Ray,
      So good to hear from you! I have to apologize for being tardy in reading my favorite bloggers, like you and Dr. Spo and Jon and Lar (and many others). Just not enough hours in the day.
      Please take my advice on buying a computer, absolutely get an Apple product. You may pay more but their product is well worth it.
      More advice, get a bike. Absolutely. You will "expand your horizons" which is exactly what I am planning to do. I've felt the years for a bike now for a few years. I grew up riding a bike and miss the freedom of riding a bike plus the exercise. But, like you, I am concerned about falling and breaking bones. I'm not going to get a helmut, that isn't the biggest concern unless I'm riding my bike on a highway, which I don't plan to do. But I am concerned about falling and breaking bones. But I'm going take that chance. I so enjoyed that "maiden ride" on the bike I purchased.
      I'm looking forward to reading your blog about your new bike!
      Ron

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    2. You may well have to wait an extra-long time to read my 'bike' blog, Ron. I wrote the above in a fit of optimism which has strangely thinned down since this morning. Still, never say die - and stranger things have happened.

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    3. .......and, it looks like even the cheapest Apple laptops cost around twice as much as the funds I have available, so on that front at least it doesn't look very likely. But we'll see.

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    4. Ray,
      Stick with it and get an Apple product Ray. You'll never regret it.
      Ron

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  6. helmets and knee pads young man or you don't go at all.

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  7. Love riding bikes!! And you did get a great deal on a Trek bike. Also, love that pic of you in Provincetown, you were/ are a very handsome man!!

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  8. Randy in NEB3:19 AM

    Hi Ron, That's the same bike I have a Trek 7200! Mine is gray and maroon, I got a deal on it too. It's stopped raining here as well need to get to riding, usually average 70 miles a week during the Summer. And as UrSpo says get a helmet!

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