Stories are how we compare one thing to another, learn, and make sense of the passage of time. Here are three stories I’m about to give up because I’ve repeated them too often. Especially now that I’m back in a bicycle shop after a quarter century, an event which calls out for new and different stories.
- I was riding my tricycle the other day (yes, I have a tricycle, built by Scott Paisley in Ohio years ago) when I realized it’s 2016 and I have three machines with SunTour Power Ratchet bar ends. What can I say? They work. They also make it hard to remember that indexed shifting isn’t new. It was introduced to the masses in the mid-1980s.
- I remember working at the shop when we had, basically, three types of bikes: road, kids and a single mountain bike, a Specialized Stumpjumper, which we thought was neat as all get out but wondered whether we’d ever sell for $750. Short story even shorter, we did.
- I started working at a bicycle shop in Peoria Heights in 1981. This was well after the zenith of transcontinental cycling. Still, we were selling a fair number of touring bikes, mostly from Trek, which was still a relatively new company. I remember suggesting a Trek to a customer and getting an incredulous look when I explained it was a bicycle made in Wisconsin. (Wisconsin had gained statehood several years earlier, which I thought would lend it a modicum of credibility.)
So that’s it, three stories. Now the talking dinosaur is trying to dance with more nimble mammals while avoiding the tar pits and pondering the possibility of an incoming asteroid.
But I think it’ll be okay. If you’re in Peoria, bring your bike and ride the Rock Island Greenway to visit me at Peoria’s Bushwhacker in Junction City.
Maybe you can help me work on a new story.