I got my beloved Fuji Grand Tourer before the Subway Strike. Not that one….the one before. It was beautiful. A gorgeous silver steel frame with red welds. 12 speeds when 10 was pretty much standard. I knew this bike before I knew my wife. When I rented a bike on vacation I felt like I was cheating. But alas, the old Fuji started showing her age. Steel rims were not great in the rain. Lever shifters were not up to par. The time had come.
And so I went to my local bike store and auditioned new bikes. I knew pretty much what I wanted. I never rode the drops so I wanted a straight bar. I wanted easy shifting and braking. I wanted comfortable grips. I wanted something lighter, but which would stand up to the rigors of New York streets. But, most of all, I wanted something that was comfortable to ride. A few test rides, some seat adjustments, and I was the proud owner of a Trek 7.4.
But something was wrong. While I loved the ol' Fuji at first sight, the Trek did not seem to have the same magical powers. Oh, it was a good bike - but there was something missing. A personality. I have always believed in love at first sight. But with the Trek, the love just sort of grew by increments. Ride by ride. Mile by mile. We started to have adventures together. We rode in the rain. We rode in the snow. We rode in the heat. Ride by ride. Mile by mile. We went on lots of 5BBC rides together. We shared the Leadership Class experience. We crashed into a tourist on the Brooklyn Bridge together. Ride by ride. Mile by mile. Slowly, I was beginning to get the feel. But I was not there yet.
And then it happened. It was on Nathalie's Dim Sum Ride. Holly Campbell came over, looked at my bike, and said it was like riding a truck. Suddenly, the bike had a name. It was" The Truck." What a fitting name for this sturdy beast. Cobblestones - no problem - The Truck can handle 'em. Last winter - The Truck rode through it all. He may not be the fastest bike on the road, but he is sort of like me. Sturdy, dependable, and built for comfort not speed. It took a while, but after two years and 4,500 miles - now we are a team.
I will always love the Ol Fiji and the adventures we shared. But I guess that I had enough bike love for another.
David MEL Meltzer