A bridge, a bargain and a bike

I’ve had to change my commute to and from NCPR because of some bridge repair work this month. No big deal. It’s actually allowed me to explore some of the back roads I usually drive past.

This afternoon, on a whim, I took a different route home. As I drove along, something caught my eye. I ignored it at first, but then turned around in a field road to get second look. It was a red bicycle.

I’d secretly hoped to find one this summer — for nostalgia’s sake. Not even my partner knew I was scanning most of the garage sales we’d pass looking for a real, classic bike.

I pulled into the driveway to get a closer look. It was a vintage Huffy “Good Vibrations” Cruiser bicycle. Yes, Huffy sells new versions. I’ve seen them on-line. But I wanted pre-owned. The owner came out and named the price, “Or, best offer.” I suggested half the asking price. He kicked the dirt and said the rear basket was worth more than I’d offered. He got on and rode it in a circle around me to prove that everything still worked fine. As he dismounted he announced, “I only ride it on Sundays to get the morning paper in town.” I offered an amount closer to his price. “Well, maybe I don’t really need to sell it,” he said, his jaw set. “Cash,” I responded. He agreed. This one has some rust, and the tires will need replacing in a year or two. I smiled like a kid at Christmas as he helped me load it into the back of my car.

I call it my “Mid-life Crisis”. Not a Hummer, or a Harley, not even a Honda — but a vintage Huffy. As a friend on Facebook remarked, “Sweet!”

So, that was my yard sale bargain. It won’t end up on “Antiques Road Show”, trust me. What about you? Find something fun at a sale this summer?

3 Comments on “A bridge, a bargain and a bike”

  1. Lucy Martin says:

    Nice bike Todd! Great rear baskets. You’ll have a blast.

    I’d love to find one with that banana seat and the huge u-shaped handlebars, remember those? (Hmm, do they come in adult size, or would I have to become a 10-year-old all over again?)

  2. Ellen Rocco says:

    My first bike was a big blue Schwinn. One gear. Big fat tires. I took that bike on several American Youth Hostel jaunts, standing up on the pedals to make it to the top of hills without getting off to walk it–which I considered “cheating.” I had it for ten years at least. Skinny-tired bikes were called “English” and had an amazing THREE gears. Very exotic and expensive. No one on any kind of bike wore helmets, or open-ended gloves, or tight synthetic cycling outfits. It was all sneakers and shorts. What are you going to wear on your new bike, Todd?

  3. Martha Foley says:

    My favorite bike was a 26″ blue Raleigh 3-speed. An “English bike” made sense as we lived on a hill, surrounded by hills. It was a confirmation present; I was nine years old and it was just about bigger than me. I actually did a lot of little-kid trail riding on that bike, because what we had around our house, along with the hills, were footpaths and woods. Really fun. I rode it until I upgraded to a Raleigh 10-speed in college. I never liked that bike half as much, or rode it half as far. Unfortunately, though I still, technically, have the 3-speed, I donated it to a young sculptor, who raided it for the most interesting parts. I’m scanning the roadsides, too!

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