the engagement bike

That’s what Ben is calling this gorgeous bike which he bought me. Isn’t it gorgeous? Oh, what a bike. Look at it!

It is a custom Steve Rex frame, originally built up by and for a San Jose bike racer who’s a couple of inches taller, but with a similar inseam–the bike fits like it was made for me. It weighs all of 16 pounds. I don’t know why on earth this woman decided to sell it, but boy am I glad she did.

Yes, it is obscene that someone with as few skills and experience as I should be riding a bike like this. It is. I have no excuses for it, I won’t even pretend or deny it, I feel like enough of a poseur when I ride it (especially when I slid on a train track in the middle of Fisherman’s Wharf today and fell off, straight onto my head.)

But the bike is the butteriest, smoothest, most beautiful machine I’ve ever been on (or in) and I love it. I’m hoping if I ride it enough and love it enough, it will make up for the gap between the bike’s beauty and my own lack of pure cycling athleticism.

I also hope I can get over my fears of going down hills. Uphills aren’t so bad. It hurts, sure, but I control it with my exertion. I have no control going down a hill–and when cars are around–kee-rist, I find myself riding the brakes and palpitating while other real cyclists zoom past me, pedaling hard. That’s going to take some time, I think.

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