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Bicycles At My Age – Who Would’ve Thought

By CM Strawn 7/31/20

            Bicycle riding has not been on my radar since my tweens. When I was too young to drive and needed transportation to after-school jobs, the trusty bicycle got me where I needed to go.

            My range of travel was limited by how far and fast I could peddle.

            In those days I rode a 10-speed that I bought with money I earned from washing windows at a dry cleaner and changing sprinkler pipe on weekends. It was reliable transportation for those times when I couldn’t talk my Mom into hauling me around.

            After I got my driver’s license, I lost all interest in that bicycle. It deteriorated slowly over the years from neglect.

            For a short time, I rode a bicycle to work. My office wasn’t far from home and it saved gas and the hassle of finding parking. A tire blew out from over-inflation and it was relegated to deterioration as well.

            With small children and tight schedules, bicycling was not convenient. It was much easier to pile kids and car seats into the minivan. Groceries were too difficult to carry on a bicycle with a child on the back.

            Over the years, I’ve seen people in the bike lanes riding bicycles of various kinds. There was the mix of racing bikes, mountain bikes and touring bikes with a few recumbents and trikes thrown in.

            As a truck driver, I’ve had to negotiate the spandex clad competition bikers on busy two-lane roads. For me, bicycle riding steadily lost its appeal.

            After retirement, I found myself needing exercise. I felt good, but I couldn’t do the physical things like before.

            I had to work out but going to a gym or riding a stationary bike was not something that I would do with any regularity. Besides, working out in a gym surrounded by young fit hardbodies was intimidating and riding a stationary bike at home was boring.

            My wife had been riding a three-wheel recumbent tadpole tricycle for years.

She needed shoulder replacement surgery, and it hung in the garage for over a year while she recovered.

            We were not active, gaining weight and getting lethargic. So, she offered the solution of riding bikes for exercise and weight loss.

            The idea of riding a bike where everyone could see me and maybe getting runover by an irate motorist was less than attractive.

            Determined to get back to cycling, my wife started looking for bikes that she might like riding better than her recumbent tadpole. She made an appointment at a bike shop to test ride a standard tricycle with an electric motor and talked me into coming with her.

            We both tried the trike but didn’t like it because it was too top-heavy and unstable. There was a fat tire electric touring bike there that she encouraged me to try out.

            Love at first sight is sometimes called a myth. For me, after riding the e-bike around the bike shop parking lot, I fell hopelessly in love with fat tire electric bicycles.

            I have gone from having nothing to do with bicycles to totally enamored with fat tire electrics.

Nearly every day I’m in shorts riding my fat tire around the neighborhood with my wife on her delta-trike.

            This new interest has me customizing my fat tire like a teenager tricks out his ride. I have added custom handlebars, fenders, rack, mirrors and custom grips.

            Expect more from me about my newfound obsession.

Categories: Blog

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