1964 Schwinn Bantam
You never forget your first love.
Being five years-old and with a little dyslexia, I read Bantam as Batman. My Batman ushered in a new age, one of freedom beyond my Champaign, IL driveway where jumping creeks and ramps sans helmets was a right of passage. I discovered the camaraderie of riding with friends, feeling like the James Gang as we rolled down our street. And when the bullies chased us, I got my first taste of speed, adrenaline, and grit. The seed was planted; I was hooked.
I got serious about cycling in the 80’s and went to my local shop in Columbus, Ohio where I was introduced to the latest entry into the bike market: Cannondale. The anaconda-sized aluminum down tube made them unique, to say the least, and drew snarky comments from the “ride steel or go home” aficionados. Being one who zigs when others zag, I bought it. Nowadays, fat tubes are commonplace but I can proudly say I was a pioneer “back in the day.” Sadly, this bike was stolen but I replaced it with a 1988 white Cannondale (Shimano 105 components) which I road up until 2012.
Scott Speedster S40
A good friend gave me this bike a few years ago after his doctor told him that with his heart condition, he needed something with a basket and a bell. It’s stock and I currently use it on my indoor trainer or on rides where I want the challenge of riding a heavier bike. Compared to my Cannondales, it is more comfortable on long rides (less road shock) and is surprisingly nimble for a low-end bike.
I saw my first Colnago back in the early 80’s and was immediately smitten. I dreamed of one day owning one but my musician’s salary could barely get me a Colnago cap. Life went on and I “let it go,” content with my bikes. That all changed in 2016 when I went to 3State3Mountain with some friends. Loading our bikes on the rack, I compared lifting their carbon frames with my aluminum Scott. I’m not one to make excuses for others being better, but the weight difference was HUGE! Months later, and with the blessing of my wife and a great deal from Mark at MOAB, this Colnago became mine. And in the classic sense of “it was meant to be,” the Colnago’s dimensions were perfect for my frame. I think Mark only did a few tweaks and I was ready to ride. Oh, and for the record, Mark weighed my Scott. Without pedals, it weighed in at 23 lbs.