Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fiets of STyLe?


I'm Rebecca. I live in St. Louis, Missouri, and I like to ride my bicycle. Here's what you need to know about me. 

I'm a 30-something professional. I live in the mid-county area with my husband and our pets. I live 2 miles from my church and 6 miles from my office. As of this writing, no kids on deck, at bat, on base, or in the dugout. It might change, it might not.

I have owned many bicycles in my lifetime. Here is my bike and riding history:

  • Circa 1985, I received a pink Huffy banana-seat bike from my parents. I learned to ride it (first with training wheels, then without). Like many kids of the 80s, I never wore a helmet and no one ever expected me to wear one. My worst injuries were a scrape here and there and a minor cut on my toes after I rode barefoot one summer afternoon. This bike was sold in a garage sale without objection from me when I was in middle school.
  • Then, around 1989 or so, I upgraded to a red Ross 10-speed with white handlebar tape. It was gorgeous. I also rode this bike without a helmet until around the time I started high school when CARS and COOL KIDS. It's the quintessential American bike story. It was donated without my input or knowledge after my dad passed away by an aunt I'm not close to. I'm still a little angry about that.
  • In addition to the changing life, the only bikes that were cool in the 1990s were mountain bikes, so in 1994, I bought a light blue Trek 850. I really liked this bike, but it was stolen almost immediately out of our locked garage (along with my brother's BMX bike). 
  • I replaced it with a dark green and purple Trek 6500. I really got a chance to ride this bike and loved it! My brother and I even shipped them for a summer abroad in 1995. One weekend, we rented a car and drove out to a rural part of the country we were living in. There was only room for one bike, so I offered to leave mine in the flat we were staying in. Someone broke in and stole my bike the weekend we were gone. Womp-womp.
  • In late 1995/early 1996, I decided to get a retail job at my local bike shop. I replaced the 6500 with my current mountain charcoal grey Trek 8000 (to which I've added front SHOX). It has yellow accents and I think this bike is GORGEOUS! I rode it to work several times in high school, but when I went to college, I really stopped riding altogether. It lived in my parents' garage until I picked it up in 2007, because I had started running and wanted to cross-train. I rode it regularly for about 6 months, but was really frustrated with the fat, knobby tires (I was on pavement the entire time), and my back did not enjoy the hunched-over, aggressive riding posture. When I put it away for the winter, it stayed away.
  • Fast-forward to 2012. I discover Linus and Public bikes, and bloggers I follow start writing about riding bicycles as transportation. Beautiful bicycles. I fall in love, but don't act. By early 2013, I can no longer ignore the bug. I decide to purchase a transport-style bike that will be beautiful and suit my transportation needs more than my current mountain bike. I check Craigslist, but all the bikes are sized for taller people (I'm not taller people). I had fallen in love with the Linus, so I decide to test-ride one. I can't remember the last time I was so excited about a bicycle! I sleep on it for a week, and then order my Linus Dutchi 3-speed in Black. 
  • Next up? My mom has still has her red 1970s Motobecane 10-speed mixte-frame road bicycle. It's beautiful, and it's just the right size for me, too. I hope to get it back in riding shape this summer. That would bring the # of bicycles in my stable to three, which is, surprisingly, not horrifying my husband (okay, maybe a little). For his part, he enjoys light trail riding but doesn't want to play with traffic and his job affords him little leisure time, so he's not as into the biking stuff as I am right now, but he has a lovely 1997 bright red Gary Fischer Hoo Koo E Koo. We represent the 1990s well, bookmarking the 90s bikes with bikes 20 years older and 20 years newer.
The black Linus is my primary bike right now. I purchased and received it right around Memorial Day Weekend. I was able to get a few rides in before the real heat set in, and I'm using this crazy summer weather in St. Louis to commute to/from church (meetings or worship), ride for fun (Grant's Trail and Creve Coeur Park are both great!), and build up my stamina/test routes to/from work. I have taken to naming bicycles and this one is named "Fleur Delacour" after the character from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I am considering names for the Trek (leaning toward something simple and masculine and very 90s-ish...maybe Jake or something), and the Motobecane (French, 70s... probably Catherine Deneuve or Anouk Aimee, am I right?)

Here's Fleur... I'll add the others as I capture them in wilder climes.

Updated 12/6/2013 to add The Radish.