Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Never too old

When I lived in Phoenix back in the 1980s, I once watched an old man ride up to a Wendy’s restaurant and park his bike before going inside. It was a simple old one-speed cruiser bike with a big, wide handlebar that was covered with speedometers. Not bike computers, but speedometers. Those big, cylindrical things the size of coffee mugs. They looked like something that came out of a car, but were sold for bicycles in places like K-mart.

A few months later, I came across a newspaper story on the guy. Turns out, his retirement hobby was pedaling his bike 50 miles every weekday. It was like a 9-to-5 job, but fun. He’d get up, eat breakfast, say goodbye to his wife and then start riding. He wouldn’t stop until he had knocked off 50 big ones. Every time an odometer maxed out at 9,999 miles, he’d disconnect it and hook up a new one. The old ones stayed on the handlebar showing all those beautiful nines lined up in a row.

I wish I'd talked to the guy that day at Wendy's. He’s probably a goner by now. If so, I just hope somebody kept that bike with all those speedometers. It belongs in a bike museum. Or on the living room wall of somebody who loved that old man.

You’re never too old to ride.


gwadzilla said...

I read High Fidelity
as a former record collector it really hit home
as a person who likes lists it really hits home
as a guy who likes to talk about girls ....
you guessed it'
it really hit home

the movie was good as well
so often I am let down by the movie after the book

gwadzilla said...

oh, nicolas cage is Francis Ford Coppola's nephew
or something like that
and his mom was someone

that said

he was in VALLEY GIRL!