Very soon after my bike was stolen, I graduated college and moved to California, which I consider to be my spiritual bike-riding home. I got a free, equally crappy mountain bike out of someone's garage. Then I got a Free Spirit from a shady Irishman in a parking lot. This picture is not my bike, but a bike that looks just like it:
This bike was replaced by my first ever good bike, Grey Bike. Grey Bike is the oldest of these bikes that is still with me, and good lord what a workhorse. Grey Bike is a 2008 Novara Buzz V I used as my primary form of transportation in California. I moved back to Texas and it became the bike I gave my mom, until she got her Townie. It's been my guest bike. And now, as of next week, it goes to my sister to hopefully bring her into the fold. And as of this month, we've been together three years, outlasting all my relationships excepting that with my dog.
In March of 2009 I acquired Shadow, my roadbike. I'd taken rides as far as 25 miles on the Grey Bike, but Shadow truly opened my eyes as to the possibilities in the world. On her I've conquered physical barriers I hadn't even thought I could take a stab at - I've climbed several thousand feet. I've ridden more than 50 miles in a day. I've trained for distances I hesitate to take my car. I learned to ride in drop bars, I learned to ride clipped to the bike. She gave me the only sport I've ever been any good at.
Through it all though, I had my eye on the Surly Long Haul Trucker. The bike I could ride for groceries and for distance. A platform. It could be anything! A cargo bike, a commuter, a piece of art or a roughneck. So in June of last year, after 2 years of staring and saving up and planning, I ordered the bike that has gone through so many names before I realized it's my spaceship. While it's certainly a stately bike now, when I got it, it looked like this:
It's grown up a lot.
As of June it's been a year with the TARDIS. As I celebrate these little milestones, it's becoming more apparent to me how large a part of my life riding my bike everywhere has become. But it's just too much fun to quit, especially with all the lovely choices of bike in the world. So I guess I'll conclude this post by saying, just keep on pedaling.