Friday, March 6, 2009

Bicycles in the Living Room

Over the weekend, the weather went from almost springlike to deep freeze with five inches of snow. On Monday night, I brought my Surly Cross-Check upstairs so it would become warm enough for me to tape the handlebars. Seeing it in my home reminded me of the days of my youth, when bicycles were normal indoor furniture for me and my cycling friends. 

Back in college (1975), I brought my touring bike, which I had built myself, into my third-floor dorm room, which would have been compact for one person, let alone two and a bicycle. I hung it by the front wheel from the clothes hook at the end of my built-in bed. That it could easily have fallen on me in my sleep did not occur to me. My roommate, an earnest fellow from a small North Carolina town who was there on a baseball scholarship, returned home late at night, did not turn the light on and walked right into it. Amazingly, it stayed on the hook. He suggested plaintively that bikes properly belonged on the bike racks in the basement. I pointed out that the bike was worth more than his car. I had already seen the bike rack, littered with abandoned plumber's specials and positioned for the convenience of thieves. I was not parking my baby there. Within a few weeks, he had moved out of that room and in with one of his teammates. No one else moved in, and I had the room to myself for the rest of the semester. I have always appreciated the privacy available from bicycling. 

Returning to 2009, I let the Surly warm up overnight, and taped the bars the next morning. I haven't taken it back down to the unheated garage yet. I'm having too much fun looking at it. The weather forecast is for springlike weather again by Saturday. I'll take it down then and ride. 

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