1933 was a very bad year for people here in Alberta as it was a time of prolonged drought, plagues of locusts ate 30 million dollars worth of crops, and we were of course... experiencing a major depression.
Times were very hard.
Almost a million and a half people were receiving relief of some kind or another and if you were one of the fortunate souls to be working at a decent job you could probably have expected to make about $15.00 a week.
And off in Ontario at the CCM plant one of many thousands of Ramblers rolled off the line to be shipped off across the country where they would provide fairly cheap transportation for many many people... in these days bikes were not seen as toys but as tools and practical vehicles.
CCM was a company that was formed by the merger of a number of smaller companies after the bike market crashed at the turn of the last century... they survived until 1983 but unlike the company, many of their bikes still continue to roll on and on. They are as Canadian as hockey and are akin to the much beloved Schwinn bicycles of the U.S.
And now some seventy five years later we are looking at another depression and I expect that times might get very hard indeed and I expect that many more people will be relying on a much simpler and cheaper form of transportation in the form of a simple bicycle.
We went for a nice ride today, my old bike and I... and I could only wonder at what sights this old bike has seen and if she somehow remembers how hard times were when she was shiny and new.
We had to stop by the shop to install a new chain and a somewhat smaller chain ring... and I could only wonder if people back in the thirties were that much stronger to have been able to push such tall gears or that we have become a group of spinners.
It was a beautiful fall day to be riding and I really appreciated my newfound gearing on the ride home... with a little tailwind I was spinning along at a frightful clip with the old girl making nary a squeak and running as smooth as butter on glass.
She does not know she is seventy five and she makes me feel like I am 8... I think I might have to put some hockey cards in the spokes... that is if I can find some Leaf's or Red Wing cards.
We stopped in the park and I think my bike was older than all the trees...
And fall is certainly upon us...