Just one remaining thought on last week's blog entry titled "Memories of my youth." While I wrote in the magazine article about my joy at being able to commute to my part-time job at the bike shop and how it rekindled the fond feelings of cycling to grade school in rural Michigan, I would like to add what I call a "Paul Harvey moment."
That red-and-white Skyrider of mine looked very similar to the one shown in today's blog posting, which is actually a 1959 Roadmaster Skyrider. Just take notice of the flat rack located on the back of the bike and the huge handlebars gracing the front of the two-wheeled beast. What I would call two perfect perching places for — you guessed it, passengers! And that's exactly what we did on occasion; making a fast getaway at the end of the school day with me at the controls and two of my friends hanging on for dear life.
However, there's a "but" part to this real-life drama. I can remember one morning I walked into my classroom, and there in big bold letters in yellow chalk on the blackboard was written PATRICK GABRION. And no, it wasn't there for doing something wonderful. It was there, for the whole world to see, because I'd been busted for riding triple on my bike. Oh, my god!
Me and my two partners in crime had been spotted by a patrol boy, who reported, or should I say "ratted," on us for this slight infraction. Heck, we were just three kids having some fun. Nothing more resulted from our misbehavior, and I'm not even sure if school officials notified my parents. The irony of this is the fact that I, at the time of this trick-riding episode, was also a patrol boy. Nothing like leading by example, that's my motto.
As you can well understand, I couldn't really include this tale in my just-published article for the Maine Cyclist, the magazine of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. After all, it is a statewide organization in the business of promoting bike and pedestrian safety. So, there's my "Paul Harvey moment" and the rest of the story ...
I see Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring, but hopefully without putting a whammy on things by saying this, in all honesty it really hasn't been much of a winter — yet. So consequently, I was able to pile up the miles on my bicycles during January, which was a pleasant surprise.
For the most part, it was from riding on my cyclocross and road bikes, with a sprinkling of fat bike trips when Old Man Winter was around. I ended up pedaling 21 out of 31 days for the month and putting 402 miles on the odometer — all outside.
This is very unusual, and my logbook, which I've kept since 2001, provides the proof. From 2001 to 2012, I had zero rides during any of those Januarys. The number of rides also was zilch in January 2019. Here's what my records show for the first month of the other years:
— 2013 ... two rides, 33 total miles
— 2014 ... one ride, 21 total miles
— 2015 ... four rides, 70 total miles
— 2016 ... 17 rides, 269 total miles
— 2017 ... one ride, 10 total miles
— 2018 ... eight rides, 112 total miles
So, it's been a good start to the 2020 cycling season. Long may it last, but it probably won't.
It's been a year now since I launched Pedal2Page, which pleases me no end. Thank you for riding along with me on this journey. My goals remain the same ... to keep my writings fresh and entertaining. My unpaid administrative assistant — my daughter, Sophie — and I are currently working on creating a logo-driven T-shirt that will be available for purchase in the near future. Again, thanks for reading, sharing, and subscribing. Be safe!