Tonight I picked up two Supercycle bikes: one from a friend for my daughter as a hand me down and my lovely bike after it's annual tune up that's coming in now at about 35 years old, almost as old as me.
Last weekend we hunted for a used bike and had a harder time than I thought we would. Seems bike stores don't really carry used kids' bikes because, by the time they get them road ready, they really can't make a profit. We came close to finding the perfect bike at Cycle Mania on Bloor, a 40 year old Czech bike just a bit too big. I try to avoid buying things that are shiny and nice who's possession will lead to more stuff in a land fill. The shiny $100 bikes at Walmart are seductive but after explaining this whole concept to my daughter she was totally game for finding a used bike. Love it. Luckily my friend was there to pass down the perfect bike in the end and so will begin a summer of trying to learn to ride without training wheels. She has free reign to design at will, stickers, paint whatever she likes.
Some advice I've gotten is to start on a slight downward slope (I assume grassy) and let go allowing for the feet to dangle. This would be an exercise in building the ability to balance. Anybody, with great tips on how to teach kids to ride bikes, please send them along. I'm thinking on top of a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads might be a must.
And now let's turn to my beaten up, rusty, rattling 1970s Supercycle. I picked it up over 8 years ago when I was visiting a friend's cottage. It was just sitting outside a second hand store in quaint little town. It was love at first sight and it's been my cruising bike ever since. I invest a little bit each year in getting it tuned up, in fact $53 today. My new favourite bike store is Riders at 80 Geary at Dovercourt. They are so into putting love into old bikes like mine. They would never encourage you to toss a bike to upgrade and never game me the look of "why are you still riding this piece of junk?".
My bike and I have history. Now the question is can I get Maggie my pooch to run beside me on the leash without yanking me over at the site of old gum or barf (yes she eats barf sometimes). She needs her sweat sessions too.
I also promised you my friend's Foxy Lara Bar recipe. Amanda Thebe at foxyburd.blogspot.com has posted her recipe today. So yummy. I LOVE them.