Question: I love my bike so much that I think I should give it a name. Do Pedal Pushers approve? Answer: Sure, then you can start talking to it like it is an animate object. I know, because I always have named mine. The first bike I got was a copper-coloured onespeed CCM. It was the bike I learned to ride on. I called it Champ. I'm not sure why because I lived so far up the mountain you could hear the Grouse Mountain Skyride from my bedroom. The one speed did not live up to its name. But, I still loved Champ.
Then we moved to Edmonton and at the time, three-speed Banana seat bikes were the bomb. My parents bought me a yellow and black striped bike with a STICK shifter - three speeds. Oh my God I loved that bike. I was hot. It was super hot. That bike was so hot I called it Banana. I was still young.
We moved back to the mountain just around the same time that 10 speeds were becoming accessible to the non-racing crowd. So, my sister and I received noname 10 speeds from Sears of all places. My parents were frugal if not suburban in their thinking. Of course we didn't get a Peugot or a
Gitane. Not even an Apollo. Anyway, mine was green and my sister's was purple. They had Suntour gears, not Shimano. At least the purple one looked cool. I called her bike the Purple Panther. I never really settled on a name for mine. Frog? Fern? Hmm. At least I could go to school on it. Well, downhill anyway.
As a young adult, my boyfriend bought me an early mountain bike. An awesome gift, it was a Nishiki Cariboo. It was black and fit me perfectly. I called it Boo. One night though, Boo and my really expensive skis were stolen off my second floor balcony apartment on Second Street at St. Davids. I was on unemployment insurance at the time so did the only responsible thing and bought a huge bottle of Tequila with my last dollars and said goodbye to Boo.
I took a bike hiatus from that time until I turned 30. Then I bought another mountain bike, which was too big for me, but took me up and down the mountain many times. As well, it became a killer touring bike since it had a long top tube and awesome geometry for long rides not on mountain trails. That bike was a grey Bridgestone 3 (that was the girl version). I called it Smoke. Smoke was stolen from the old Woodward's store in the Downtown Eastside while I attended an art happening called Artropolis. While cool, it wasn't worth the loss of my friend Smoke.
An insurance claim later (my first one), I bought a Specialized Rockhopper Comp. The Comp was important. It wasn't just a sport bike - it was a competition model. That was in the early '90s. She was forest green, had 24 gears and was rock solid on tour and on trail. I had that bike for eons. Because she was a mountain bike, she had knobby tires, which was dumb because I used her mostly for touring and commuting. Even so, the noise the tires made on the pavement - so inefficient - was like a bee humming,
so I called her Bee. We went everywhere together: San Diego, Prince Rupert, Jasper, Kaslo - I mean everywhere.
After nearly 12 years, I decided Bee was inefficient for my purposes. Took me a while, eh? So, I bought a Specialized hybrid with 700 cc wheels and a longer frame geometry to take me to work and on tour in style. I fell in love with this bike because it looked just like my best friend Bee and yet had a longer, more elegant style. Plus her turning radius was huge. But the best thing about her was the paint colour - a kind of titanium brushed aluminum colour that was actually paint but looked like a lacquered metal frame. The colour? The colour was called Dream. And I named the bike Dream.
I have ridden my Dream for almost 10 years now. I've replaced the drive train completely three times, worn through three saddles, three pairs of handle bar grips, the chain six or seven times and the brakes too many times to count. I've recently thought of replacing her. But she is still and always will be my Dream and I could never let her go.
That is until the next bike comes along.
The Pedal Pushers are Dan Campbell, Antje Wahl, Anita Leonhard and Heather Drugge, four North Shore residents who use their bikes for transportation. northshore. firstname.lastname@example.org
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