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The Commute That Almost Wasn't...

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The Commute That Almost Wasn't...

Old 09-19-22, 10:09 AM
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Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 2007 Dahon Boardwalk, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International, 2006 Felt F65, 1989 Dahon Getaway V

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The Commute That Almost Wasn't...

I hadn't ridden my '84 Nishiki International to my new job because of its overall kludginess and schmutz. Plus the drive train was dragging. I bought. new-to-me 2006 Felt F86 to replace it, and stripped the components off the Nishiki to donate it to the bike co-op.

But the lovely ride quality of the 38-year-old skinny-tube steel bike literally haunted my dreams. So I had the drive train looked at and the mechanic said it was just a stretched chain. And one $13.99 chain later he was proven right.

I park my rides in my office behind my desk, so to make the bike more attractive I pruned the component list and bought a surreptitiously padded seat rather than the inelegant gel-seat cover. I replaced the old blinkies with even smaller LEDs, removed the frame bag and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. Despite the discolorations, paint nicks and scratches the bike looks good enough to park inside.

I just rode in this morning, and it was glorious!

The fact that the bike is older than many of my co-workers, and the fact that the only regular bike commuter in the place is one of the oldest employees makes me happy.

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Old 09-26-22, 03:50 PM
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My first "serious 10 speed" was a Nishiki International... this was around 1979-'80 and I was in "heaven." I had not ridden a bicycle for perhaps 5-6 years, and was persuaded by a cycling girlfriend to "get a bike."

The International was available and recommended. To me, it was as smooth as glass on the road. The bike I owned and road several years before was an old single speed Schwinn, with relatively wide tires. The high pressure narrow tires of "the 10 speed" were phenomenal to me...

Slowly I gained proper cycling skills and started riding to work, and eventually (on a variety of bikes) managed to bike commute for some 35 years. But it was the International that got me back in the saddle. That, and Emilia. She went on and eventually married some other guy... and I hear she is still out there cycling. Ride on Molly!
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