Windsor bike

secondhand Windsor bike

Meet my new secondhand bike. It's not a red Peugeot but a gray Windsor kissed with red. It was actually a Christmas gift from my roommate bought off a (short) friend of his who wanted to upgrade his two wheels. Though it's nothing fancy or rare or even colorful, at least it's a dropped-handlebar ten-speed road bike that fits. (Finding a small men's bike isn't easy.) And because it's not valuable, it shouldn't be a glaring draw for bike theft. Plus, it's not made in China but in Mexico. And it's a men's bike.

Windsor label: Hecho en Mexico

I figured out long ago that any products gender-engineered specifically for men will be of better quality than what's made for women, whether we're talking bikes, clothes, or razors. For bikes, the triangle of a men's frame is inherently stronger than a women's dipped frame, which was tweaked to accommodate skirts.

Windsor bike frame detail

Unlike the deep white frozen hell over on the East Coast this month, Portland, Oregon, has been enjoying record-breaking highs. So Jeff (the housemate) tuned up the bike for me last weekend, cleaning and oiling it and pumping up the tires. He also scrounged up a spare helmet. And then we went on a six-mile (or eight-mile?) round-trip ride along the Trolley Trail that parallels McLoughlin/99E from Gladstone up near downtown Milwaukie, where we encountered a few joggers, a few bikers, some families strolling with young children, and several ducks floating in the canal. Why not take advantage of this strange February sun, so different from last year?

Windsor bike, rider's view

Windsor bike gears

Windsor bike with hanging helmet

We still need to install the bike lock holder I thrifted a couple years ago for a dollar, as well as the back carrier rack Jeff found for me last month at Goodwill. But that can wait. This afternoon, we're off for a sunny, if brisk, ride along the Clackamas River on the Clackamette Cove and River Access Trails, where we will probably see geese trailing V's in the water and overhead.* For the record, I still think bike helmets are uncomfortable and look stupid—and if Europeans don't bother with them, why should we?—but I'm told their use is better than risking scrambled brains.**

*We also saw a sea lion sun-basking on a dock south of Clackamette Park! Who knew they would swim all this way upstream from the coast, following the salmon run?

**Oh, and my wearing a bike helmet meant I couldn't wear a sun hat, which meant that despite my daily SPF30 sunscreen, I got a light sunburn across the bottom half of my face, which for someone with rosacea, is a big no-no. Thanks, bike helmet.


  1. Anonymous27/2/15 08:51

    The sea lions make it above Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.

    1. I had no idea till now about the range of sea lion territory, having previously only ever seen them on the Oregon and California coasts, and having only recently moved this far upriver. Thanks for the info!


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