Red Rosie is gone

I just sold my road bike.

It needed to be done. I’ve got the blue bike, the workhorse, and the road bike was taking up space I don’t have. I put her up on Craigslist at 4:00 and she was gone before 8:30. I’m $125.00 richer, which is nice, and I hope that the woman who bought her likes her as much as I did.

I bought her in the winter of 2002-2003, when I was getting serious about long distance road biking. I wanted a lighter frame than my mountain bike, and also toe clips and to be bent over the handlebars, like a serious long distance biker. We went on a lot of long rides around Portland, while I was increasing my distance. I named her Red Rosie as we rode over the St. John’s Bridge and the first time I saw the Kenton Neighborhood, I was with her. We were resting on a bench on a beautiful day in a park and I looked around and thought, “There are some nice houses here. It would be really nice to live here.” The park was Kenton Park which is just down the street from my house and I walk by that bench all the time.

I loved how clean her lines were, how light she was and how she had that old school Trek logo on the front. I loved how I felt fast when I rode her and how she continued the tradition of my owning and loving Trek bicycles. I love that she had old-school down tube shifters, because she reminded me of a bike my dad had growing up, and it was like she was something that was handed down to me, rather than bought, shiny new–though I actually did buy her at City Bikes.

She hung in my studio downtown, in the apartment Matt and I shared, and most lately in our house, where she had her own shed. She took me all over Southwest Portland when I trained for the triathalon and then 18 miles during the triathalon and I can still remember how good I felt when I conquered Hillsdale and Multnomah Village’s steep grades early one morning while training before work. When I first bought her I walked two blocks to an incredibly boring job, but when I went to graduate school, I rode her every day to my two student teaching placements. First we traveled just over the Hawthorne Bridge to Environmental Middle School, then farther across the Broadway Bridge to Grant High School. I looked at her longingly when I had my post graduate school boring job–too far away to bike commute–and we were happily reunited when I rode the one and a half miles each way to The Emerson School, and then 4 miles each way to from the new house.

In the end, she was just a little bit too big for me. When I rode her my neck was at an angle that was just a little bit wrong and I ended up with chronic pain. During those last few months, it was hard to ride her at all, both because it hurt and because she needed a tuneup. We were both in need of something new. I hope she likes her new owner and the new owner likes her. I will miss her.

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