Goodbye, noble stead

May 21st, 2019


With lots of sadness, I just gave away my vintage 1970s velo-sport. This was my first bike I owned as a mid-twentysomething adult (I temporarily gave up biking and took up smoking when I was 19, two of the worst decisions of my life). Picked it up at the suggestion of my now ex-wife after frustration with the Halifax bus system. Used it to hack said transit system amidst riding hundreds and hundreds of kilometres on the Halifax penisula and beyond. A few years later, it came with me to Montreal, where we rode even more - near-daily commutes from NDG to Mile End and rides for pie to Mont St Hilaire. Finally, it was fated to come with me to Toronto, where it served to take me on long rides on the waterfront trail, east to Pickering, west as far as Niagara Falls, as well as serving as a daily commuter from Leslieville to my office in the Fashion District, not to mention early-morning jaunts across town for 6am sittings at the Toronto Zen Centre.

Over the years, I’ve probably sunk over two thousand dollars into repairs (as well as doing a fair number of work on it myself). An issue with the front wheel puncturing three tubes in succession finally convinced me that this was a losing battle, unless I wanted to put down a large sum into an overhaul. If I used it less I could probably justify some more minor repairs, but I think most of it (with the exception of the frame and headset) is on its last legs. Given the amount that I bicycle, it just seemed to make sense to get a new one, and see what a modern commuter has to offer. So I decided to cut my losses and buy a brand new one at Urbane Cycling.

It was a hard decision to replace it, and harder still to give it away. I loved this old bike, far more than any inanimate thing that has been in my presence. I am grateful for the good care it took of me (I have not had a single major accident riding it), and the adventures it enabled me to have. I took this picture of it in the donation rack at Bikesauce, which is almost certainly the last I’ll see of it:

I left a note with some pointers on what needs work and asking whoever fixes it up to give it a lot of love, but honestly this bike’s fate is out of my control at this point. So it is with all things.