Post and bottom photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman, top photo from an online auction that has already closed.
Man, I really liked that bike. It was a red Ryder specialized twenty-four speed Hardrock model mountain bike with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time. Sorry, I got it jumbled up with Ralphie's description of the BB gun in "A Christmas Story." Again. That's how much I liked this bike, which is a red Hardrock Specialized 24-speed mountain bike. I was an irresponsible bicycle owner and didn't take my own photograph or record the serial number. So if anyone does find it, we're on the honor system for getting it back to me.
A few weeks ago, my bicycle of several years died on me. I didn't get a full tune-up for far too long, and I'm sure that didn't help--yet another way you all can learn from my bad example. Repairing that ride would have cost significantly more than what a used Hardrock was selling for, so I opted for the newer bike.
And what a difference that made! I routinely clocked in a mile at about five or five and a half minutes on the old cycle, and shaved nearly a minute off that time with the new one. I could make it up Farview hill without so much as breaking a sweat, and that was before the weather started to play a factor. I planned on doing my first 50-mile bike ride with this one, knowing it was light enough for me to zip along and accomplish that goal.
Man, I really liked that bike. I have only ever been truly passionate about three modes of transportation in my entire life. In reverse chronological order, they are: the Hardrock Specialized 24-speed bicycle, a 1990 Saab 900 S car, and a pogo bal. I'm a child of the eighties, and I embrace that.
Last week at the Hennepin County Commissioner candidate forum at the Capri, I locked my bike up on the side of the building. When I left, the bike was gone. One of the attendees found a lock that was cut, and the thieves left behind the blue bike pictured above - a Pacific Regency, which doesn't sound nearly as cool as "Hardrock." The bike that was left behind is way too small for me, its brakes only work in the Flintstones manner of stopping a moving vehicle, and shifting gears makes a sound like Optimus Prime with a sinus infection. So I made it home on that, but that's about it. If anyone's missing, or even wants, this particular bike, let me know.
By the way, I had a Kryptonite lock but it was a cord/chain style lock. I thought that the Kryptonite brand was good enough to hold up to standard-issue bolt cutters. Not the chain locks, apparently. The folks at Behind Bars, who sold me the best bike a man could want, informed me that even those locks could be broken with bolt cutters in as little as 30 seconds. Apparently the photo below is the kind of lock that actually prevents theft. Oh sure, this lock can be broken too, but just like winning an argument on North Talk, it takes a whole lot of effort and in the meantime there are sparks flying everywhere.
What I'm left with now is a Huffy from Wal-Mart that was sitting unused in my parents' garage. A Huffy! It will get me around for the next few weeks until the weather is too cold for even me to ride.
Man, I really liked that bike.