Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dear Prudence

I really don’t take to purposefully naming my rides, but they’re destined. Names pop into my head and pretty soon something sticks. This fall in the midst of mountain biking season I’d roll into the garage and there would be the Bianchi...the ride I’m so excited to get back to each spring, the ride that sails me over the summer roads and takes me away from it all. In the fall, she leans against the garage wall...ever-ready. Seeing her one Sunday after a particularly great singletrack weekend, I realized I miss that Betty. It stuck. She’s steady, but she takes me places I won’t go alone. That’s what a Betty is: a best bud girlfriend with a fast side ready to challenge anything that comes along even if it’s off the beaten path and she’s in heels.

The Stumpjumper became Stella. Dunno why. Stella is a cowgirl with a hoarse voice, a whiskey on the table and a cigar in her hand. I like her. She's the girl cousin raised out on the farm, up with the rooster mucking out the stalls in the morning, unafraid of exploring the old cars abandoned in the back woods. She cleans up well and knows how to put on her red boots and have damned a good time...and she talks about it the next day.

The Giordana track bike, soon to turn road-fixie? No name yet. Something Italian...male with long curly locks and an accent I could never hope to understand. He's the one I could stay in with and look at all night. This beautiful frame is a work of art. When we do finally hit the road it'll be for supper under the street lamps at the local sidewalk cafe.

The old Moab mountain bike is destined to turn single-speed. Unnamed. But, I know he's a low-key, older backwoods man. Solid. Dependable. This one shows his years and his scars, but isn't one to fall apart. Heading out with him means tramping through the wooded fields in flannel and denim with a pair of sturdy brown leather work boots.

The steel LeMond is on its second life as a tourist with a triple...willing and able to go anywhere anytime. Who knows? Maybe a name with connotations of racer - turned - normal - joe...maybe LeMond? Plans for this one include couplers on the frame which means traveling will be even easier than it is now. While his colors don't always match, there's one thing I'm sure of: this joe will never be caught with black socks and sandals paired to bermuda shorts...a camera draped across the handlebars, maybe.

The 1961 magenta Schwinn Starlet with the streamers and built-in horn...curved and padded in all the right places: Marilyn is a little obvious here.

Regardless, the grocery-getter was christened today. After some finishing touches yesterday (wire racks, longer stem, cheap computer) I headed out on errands this morning. Besides hitting the bank, I picked up things at Home Depot, Target, Cub Foods, the LBS, Snyder Drug and the Liquor Store. All the while, John and Paul sang through my head: Dear Prudence won’t you come out to play, greet the brand new day-hey-hey-heeyy. Prudence Prodigy. I think the name will stick. It’s got a good beat, it’s easy to dance to. Prudence is the one who made it through the years of peace-and-love in spite of the daisies and crocheted vests -- she's finally clear-headed about her priorities, but man-oh-man she still thinks about what she used to do for fun.

- TOB and the sunny sky-hy-hy-hies


Lunatic Biker said...

The names are one issue. What I like are the stories behind the names. I like your writing. God, am I glad I found your page. Have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Ptelea said...

TOB - I AM lookin' for a man - it seems like you might have a spare or two - can't decide between the Italian or the older backwoods models. Damn, you would have to be talking about your bikes!

I agree with lunatic biker - love your writing.

George said...

Hey, you're A-OK in my book- You have one more bike then I do!

I agree with the others, you write *real good* :-)

Trée said...

TOB, great to see all those bikes. I've got just two at the moment, my steel and carbon Bianchi Virata and an older alum Giant OCR. However, I put in an order for a Sachs about two years ago and I should be up in the waiting list sometime this coming summer. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

eayste said...

Here I was thinking of myself badly since I have 4 bikes and a winter project bike.
I limited myself to 4 for practical reasons of a recreational rider.
But I think I will up the anty to 5 . Just because it's easier to share when you have more to share.

the old bag said...

lunatic, ptelea and george -- thanks for the comments! Glad you come by now and again!

ptelea -- too bad we can't just order 'em that way...:-]

trée -- I took a look at the Sachs page...ya gotta be excited about waiting on one of those beautiful frames! Wow.

eayste -- thanks for stopping by! I guess I've got a few...luckily they've come to me either used or with an LBS employee discount (and thank goodness I'm handy with tools!). Looking forward to hearing about your winter project!

the old bag said...

AND, I've got enough for the family when they come to visit...they love riding down the trails to the urban lakes near home.


Tanya said...

I can only dream about having so many bikes :) (hmm maybe I should dream up a garage to store them all in first) Love the stories and the names.

the old bag said...

Thanks Tanya for stopping by!

I'm in an old house without much elbow room or closet storage (sent a ton off to Goodwill when I moved in), but it's got an unfinished basement and a double garage...heaven.

Jen! said...

you are not just a plain old bag, you are a HIP old bag! hah i love it! i'm going to lurk around here frequently, ok? ok.

the old bag said... you're saying I should change TOB to HOB (hip old bag)? or THOB (the hip old bag)? TOBWIH (the old bag who is hip)?? hopefully I won't end up as TOBWAHR (the old bag with a hip replacement)....


(that's my niece!)

gwadzilla said...

my god!
you have so many bikes
you can not name them all!

nice collection.

I like bikes and all their different personalities
I have never named a bike before
I have also never named a fish
I often question why people name their cats
but no friends were ever made with that logic

I like cats
I just don't see why people name them
as I see them as furry fish that swim around the house

if I had a farm
I would have several cats
they would be allowed in the house
but I am sure they would prefer to be outside