What does your bike mean to you?

I spent my teenage years on a series of Motobecanes - ending the 70’s on a really beautiful Gran Jubile’. That bike meant a lot to me. Freedom and escape when needed. It was the one and only really nice thing I owned for a very long time. I’d kill to get another Gran Jube. Black with red accents. Gold lettering. Almost $500 back in 1976. It was stolen from my front porch during a tumultuous time breaking up with my girlfriend of the time, and dropping out of college. I’ve scoured the web and eBay for another. I thought I saw one lashed to the back of a van puttering down a side street in Moab last fall. I woulda’ offered the guy hundreds if I coulda’ caught him.

Cycling star Amy Dombroski ended a lucrative contract because her sponsor bike was too heavy. As a cycocross rider weight is super-critical to acceleration. Her bike means winning races.

My nephew rides for Yeti Cycles. He now gets a new bike(s) every season. The latest technology, the latest materials. But I wonder what the emotional attachment (if any) is.

I’ve got a new Trek I’ve put about 3000 miles on now. It has my old colors (black and red) and is growing on me a lot. It has an entirely different meaning. It means diabetes can’t beat me. It means charity rides with others in the diabetes community. It means dropping a few 30 year olds on a thousand foot climb in Death Valley.

What does your bike mean?

The bike that meant the most to me was my Lotus Excelle. It was the first bicycle I chose, as opposed to what my grandparents or my parents chose for me. Its twelve speeds meant that I had better command over the Bostonian terrain, and the freewheel was easier to service than the Ross’s internal hub. Perversely, it is the Ross that had the most mileage. It was my commuting bicycle during my junior and senior years of high school – not that I used it much, as my grandfather was retired and enjoyed driving my sister and me to and from school. It stood home during my freshman year of college, but after finding how much Boston is a bicycle town, it came up to take me through my sophomore and junior years of college, and for bad weather during my senior year. It went through rain, snow, even a blizzard…

While it’s newer and smaller than the Excelle, my Dolce means “freedom”. It means not having to wait for buses to go somewhere, or for someone to drive me there. It means “health”, in that it’s healthier to bicycle than to ride a motor vehicle, and that it gets me an excuse to exercise. It’s aluminum-framed road geometry is distinctive enough in this area, where most pedal-powered vehicles are cheap mountain bikes, general-purpose bikes, or what Wal-Mart passes off as a “road bicycle”. It’s not the priciest or highest-technology bike in the world, but like its name, it’s sweet. It suits my size and skill level, and has performance capacity for me to “grow into”.

To me my bike means life pure freedom. when its just me and my bike my health problems disappear no pain just solitude. I can honestly say if it wasn’t for my bike I wouldn’t be alive today.