old bike, new home

vintage turquoise 1960's Columbia Roadster

Why would I want to sell this lovely vintage bicycle in a summery shade of turquoise, one might ask? The answer is: because a vintage single-speed is damned heavy. I took this bike (that was formerly my mother's) out for a spin a couple years ago on the Springwater Corridor, and afterwards my legs were sore for three days. Obviously, that would have made for some great leg workouts, but it was also not fun, especially over the slightest inclines—unlike the much longer bike ride I took one time with a friend on a borrowed ten-speed on that same trail that gave no muscle-cramp aftermath, just smooth sailing. Biking should be fun. And Portland isn't all flat.

So today this bike was sold, with help from Craigslist, to a woman named Luna with short hair and a wide smile, who wanted exactly this kind of bike for herself for riding with her daughter on flat trails. We even negotiated a deal because she wanted to dress it up with a basket and tassels. And she even said, after riding it around the block, that this bicycle wasn't heavy compared to other vintage bikes she's tried. Hooray!

This kind of reuse makes me happy. A perfectly functional vintage bike in barely ridden condition sitting in a garage or basement collecting cobwebs makes no one happy and only takes up space—far better the bike be ridden as designed, on a sunny trail under blue skies, new tassels flying.

vintage Columbia Roadster bicycle label

And now I can start trawling Craigslist for a used ten-speed. . . .

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