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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Peddler's Bike Show

Went out to Independence to see what was going on at the Peddler's Bike Show. Roger was there with his whole Speed Racer getup, took third in his category and got more rock star awe from folks for riding over 180 miles in one weekend on that thing.

Lots of cool, funky old bikes. Including a penny-farthing. After I get the whole recumbent bike thing hammered out, I think a penny-farthing may be next on my list. The thing is so bizarre and obviously impossible to ride, I find it appealing.

There was a nice short wheelbase recumbent I could have bought for $300, but I was short $280 of the purchase price. Pity, too, because the only reason the guy was selling it is he and his wife have taken to the tadpole style trikes and he never rides the two-wheel anymore. It has a lot of miles on it, but it's in perfect working order and has been well maintained.

Em fell for the old school Schwinns, the battleships with all sorts of excessive steel body decoration. I tried to pick up one of the bikes she was oohing over and I got a hernia, might need surgery. It had to be 50 lbs, maybe more like 70. Like lifting a pair of bikes.

And I saw a Woman Flyer. I had a Western Flyer bike when I was a kid, a pretty one, white with red & blue accents that faded in. It had a banana seat and chrome fenders and I was picked on unmercifully by the neighborhood kids for riding the 'Woman Flyer.'

Kids are assholes, aren't they? I saved my money (earned digging dandelions and whatnot) until I had the $70 required to buy a Murray BMX from Venture and I turned my back on the Woman Flyer. I think I wanted to burn it or have it melted down or something, but it was probably sold at a garage sale for peanuts.

The Western Flyer (this was Western Auto's house brand of bike) I saw was a few years older and a little more substantial, a 1970 three speed with hand brakes and 24" wheels. Mine would have been a '75 or '76 (the latter is likely, and would explain the patriotic paint scheme), single speed with 20" wheels and the kind of brakes you apply by pedaling backward.

I'd like to see that old Woman Flyer again. Maybe even like to own it, just to show it off. Nostalgia is funny that way.

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