When I was eight-years-old, I awoke on Christmas morning to find a bright red BMX bike perched quietly in front of the tree. The moment I breached the living room and glimpsed that bike for the first time is a moment stuck in my head for eternity, or at least for my geologically narrow slice of it.
My next clear memory is of riding that bike, full tilt down the street, wearing a brand new Oshman’s track suit. No doubt I was on my way to rubbing my opulent good fortune in the faces of the other neighborhood kids. I had been wobbling along behind them all on a beat purple kiddie bike, silver sparkle saddle, for a full year. In a Christmas instant, I vaulted from worst to first.
Next to the moment I first learned to ride, training-wheel-free, under my own steam, that Christmas morning remains one of my most cherished memories, and if it’s true that we spend our whole cycling lives trying to recapture that first moment of freedom, there is a parallel drive to relive that first dream bike acquisition.
Now, you’re not a kid anymore, except possibly in mind and maturity, but just imagine the coming holiday promises a bike in front of a tree. Now, before we get all wrapped up in “but I don’t celebrate Christmas,” or “I don’t believe in Santa,” or “I don’t have a tree,” or even “I practice an ancient, animist religion that eschews the giving and/or receiving of gifts,” let’s just be kids for a minute here. All we have to believe today is that we’re going to wake up one morning in a week-and-a-half and find a dream bike in front of a tree, which, for whatever reason, is standing in our living room.
What’s the bike? What color is it? What are you gonna do with it? And, most importantly (or not at all), who is going to be envious?
I happen to have this bike in the works for myself. It’s a custom, Ti single-speed mountain bike, set up with tubeless 650b wheels, disc brakes and a generous application of kick ass. I’m not sure it will make it to the tree, or at least not the one set up in my living room.
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