May in Motion in Boise is a city wide promotion to get single drivers out of their cars to try alternative modes of transportation. I am lucky enough to live in a neighborhood close to downtown so that in the nicer months, my main wheels are attached to a 1964 Schwinn Hollywood that takes me where I need to go, whether that be work or out for an evening on the town. This bike has a Sears Roebuck odometer on it that unfortunately stopped working a couple years ago – forever frozen at 1667 miles.
Another of my bikes (yes…I have more than two) is a sharp contrast to my vintage ride. It’s about as opposite as opposite can be. It’s a sleek Trek Madone 5.2, all carbon road bike that is so light I can pick it up with just a couple fingers. It was a most generous gift for my 40th birthday. I couldn’t believe then, and sometimes still can’t, that I actually own such a beautiful piece of cycling mechanics. It’s really art – but art that is really, really fun to ride really, really fast.
I’m entering the 4th season with this bike, and my odometer just turned 6000 miles. I have taken it out for a special ride – just the two of us – to celebrate the turn of each 1000 along the way. As the miles clicked over this time, I pondered where I could have gone with those miles, if they wouldn’t have been spent touring around the Idaho countryside.
For 3361 miles I could have pedaled my way to Cancun… couldn’t have made it a roundtrip ride, but maybe staying in Mexico practicing my mad Spanish skills and learning to salsa dance wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
Honolulu is 3306 miles away, but am thinking there’s a bigger challenge to riding there than just the miles.
Miami is 2832 and one of my favorites, Boston, is only 2691 miles away meaning I could easily make the roundtrip for under 6000 with room to spare for some off-the-track sightseeing along the way.
I wish the old odometer on my cruiser was still clicking away the miles we spend together. In some ways, I feel like we’re missing out on the celebrations of our milestones but maybe that’s not what that bike is about. It’s not about going fast, being lightweight or even particularly attractive – it’s all about enjoying the ride.