Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Collection

For me, it's not about collecting. I wish that I could identify what it is that attracts me so much to bicycles. Since I was a wee little one and slept with my brand new bright red Columbia banana seat 20" wheel bike that I got as a kid. I remember that bike, I remember collecting the pennies, dimes, and nickels to buy the cable speedometer from my brother to mount to the handlebars. I remember the proud day riding down State street in Mason City, IA when the odometer on it ticked over to 1,000 miles. Really, it just turned over to 000.0. But, I knew that it was 1000. I must have been around 9.

Now that I am a parent, I find myself thinking about that. My parents never encouraged me to ride, they never forced it upon me, it was just something I LOVED to do. Thank you mom and dad for not paying attention to where I was going, because one doesn't rack up that kind of mileage as a kid riding around the block.

I remember once backed by the earning power of delivering the Globe Gazette newspaper ever day, the desire to accumulate bike parts began. There was the purchase of my BMX bike. Upon its theft, the Fuji S12-S. Then the pink Team Fuji that my dad helped arrange shipping from Des Moines because the shop there was the only one with one in stock by the time I had the money to buy it. I remember the bike having all Suntour Superbe parts. I remember lusting after Superbe Pro.

There was the purchase of my first pair of cycling shoes. The subsequent argument with my mom about how I wanted the clip-less pedals. Then I bought them without her approval and how mad she got. I remember having my friend drill the shoes for cleats because at the time, only a few models came pre-drilled for the new Look pedals.

I remember my ride, and can almost re-trace all of the sites along the way to the the back corner of the sporting goods store that had the bike shop in the back corner. Here's that route.

I remember lusting after the bikes on the floor, hanging on the walls. I remember buying my first Dura Ace 6 speed cassette hub. They were used because someone had bought them as part of a bike and decided that the idea of the cassette hub would not catch on. The customer wanted to use a freewheel. So, there were the old hubs... I remember buying them complete with the cassette for $50. I remember playing with those for most of the fall and into the winter until I got the Matrix ISO clinchers from my brother Steve for Christmas that year. He bought them at Cycle Goods in Minneapolis.

I remember the trip to Lakeside Cyclery in Clear Lake with my Mom. I know she wasn't pleased about my bicycle part expenditure. I remember handing over the hubs, the rims and $30 to have them built into wheels. That included the cost of spokes!

Sure, I might have to put a little more thought into the sequence of many of my acquisitions. I probably missed quite a few details. But, one thing has remained consistent... There's always been the desire to spend any available cash on bike related garb. Even when other kids were saving for cars, I was saving for a bike. After the Team Fuji, I spent a summer bringing cash in small chunks to the bike shop because I had bought the Pink Tomasso. It was on lay-away, but I made payments every two weeks until I could bring it home. Silver-brazed, lugged, pink and white, Columbus SL, Campagnolo Victory. That one, is still hanging in the basement.

The acquisition has always continued. Which brings me to the point of where I was going to begin my post. I wanted to debate with myself about making a record of what I have and a little history about its acquisition. I just put down a deposit on a new bike the other day. The replacement for the Waterford, a bike at one time I thought I wasn't going to have to replace. That's been the story all along. But, we'll save the good news for another day. We'll follow the year or more while I sort out what it will be when it's done.

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