Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bike in a Box

It's real.

My bike--working nickname: "Reggie"--has been officially dismantled--the handlebars, seat and pedals removed--and packed by stereotypical San Francisco hipster bike mechanics into a nondescript cardboard box for which United Airlines is itching to charge me an arm and a leg to transfer from SFO to Frankfurt and, Airline Luggage Handling gods willing, to Warsaw. From there Reggie goes to a local Polish bikeshop, where he will be reconstructed into his normal, sturdy, lumbering self.

I've been riding Reggie for a couple of months now, and our relationship is something short of love, possibly even short of like. He weighs a ton; his gear-shifters are stupidly placed; his cables were not set correctly when I received the bike. He moves in traffic like a drunk friend at a wedding; dopey, embarrassing, and all mine to clean up after.

On the other hand, this week I've been on my road bike to work (working nickname: Bananamobile). I feel like I've been shot out of cannon, like the parachute's been taken off my back. I got my 20-minute commute down to 15, and I know for a fact I can smoke any other bike on the road. Still, everyone says that Reggie's a good workhorse, ideal for dilapidated Eastern European roads and random acts of tourist terrorism. Stay tuned for a full report.

As for having Reggie all boxed up, I've been filled with the excitement - and responsibility - of having a secret weapon waiting to be unleashed. It reminds me of the day of my 22nd birthday party, driving back from the liquor store with my roommate. The car was loaded with a keg, booze, some of the best pizza in the country, and a couple of carefree college seniors six weeks from graduation. We observed that we were a party on wheels, that ANYWHERE we chose to set up shop would be the site of indelible, incredible memories.

That night we hosted,one of the best parties I (vaguely) remember attending, ever. Here's to Eastern Europe dishing up another gem on Friday.
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1 comment:

Kenneth said...

I could have loaned you my bike :)

It's a Koga Miyata GranRacer2000 in black ;)