Note from Keith: I started this little series last fall. The last person I had in the que was Sarah. Before I could get a picture, she hauled off and moved away on us after graduating. We finally managed to connect so I could snap this as she was in town one last time. All the best Sarah! Thanks for your contributions to our community!
It’s funny how some things that seem so little can completely change the way you look at life. For me, this happened one day when I had a wild hair and decided to upgrade to a new bike with a fun little Stillwater bike shop. The ‘wild hair’ turned into a full month of discussion with the bike shop owner over what I would want. I couldn’t find a pre-built that was exactly what I wanted for the future I hoped to have with my bike, so my local bike artist, Bobby, started suggesting things that I could do with a special-order. I knew nothing about bikes, but I did know that I wanted a “Forever Bike”: I wanted a bike where I would never feel limited. Sometimes, greatness takes a little time.
When the bike parts all came in and Bobby put it together for me and I got on… I still remember how good it felt for the first time! All of a sudden, I could easily pedal up hills that used to daunt me on my old bike. I found that I didn’t want to just commute on my bike, but I wanted to do EVERYTHING with it!! Biking was no longer a chore to get from one place to another, but instead it became a way that I could easily get around, have fun, and not even realize I was exercising.
Probably the most fascinating part of my experience comes with the fact that I knew nothing about bikes, and yet I ended up with the perfect bike for me! When I first walked into the bike shop, I didn’t (and still don’t) know ANYTHING about bike parts. I know you pedal, and it goes. I know you shift, and it feels better. I know you have to oil the chain and put air in the tires… but we’re getting close to the extent of my bike knowledge now. Still though, I used my bike all the time, and my old bike was a hand-me-down from an ex-boyfriend who was bigger in every way than I am, which means the bike didn’t fit at all.
My bike and I have been to a lot of places together now, and I’ve even taken the plunge on a mountain bike. I think it’s fair to say I’ve got ‘the bug’. Although I still haven’t done more than about 20-30 mile rides on either bike, I’m now considering it more and more. Cross-country could be exciting. Maybe cross-state first? I might need to learn a bit more about bike mechanics first though (haha, truth!). I know that my road bike is ready for it though, and it always will be… Because it’s my “Forever Bike.” 🙂
If you ride in and around Stillwater, please contact me to include your bike love story here. People like to tell me “they can’t write”…ha, if you’ve read what I write, you know that is not a requirement for my blog….I’m just interested in sharing your passion for bikes. I never cease to be amazed at how the simplest statement can be just the right words someone needs to hear to “step out of their box” and ride a little farther, a little faster, or perhaps even just a little more. It’s all good!