Somewhat rapid transit.

Expensive bicycles are relatively fast, beautiful and easily broken. It’s a fact of cycling life that I’ve finally come to terms with here in the last five years or so.

Of course, this is why I have backup bikes and extra parts. This is why I carry tools and memorize shop locations that are within walking distance of my favorite routes and roads. And this is why my bank account has been empty most of my adult life.

All planning aside, the unexpected is unavoidable. Today, for example, the rear hub on my beloved Biachi seized up about halfway through my commute. I don’t know why this happened or whether I’m to blame, but I will say the timing couldn’t be any worse. Not only is the weather amazing, it just so happens that two of my “backup” bikes are also out of commission at the moment.

So I’ve decided there’s really only one logical solution to this situation. It’s time to forget the carbon forks, air shocks and silly Italian engineering. It’s time to put my ’55 Schwinn Spitfire back into the daily rotation. Sure, it’s heavy and hard to stop—but it’s never given me an ounce of trouble. Who knows, I may ride it in tomorrow. Not only would it be fun, it would show Broken Bianchi, Loose Crank Lemond and Crapped Out Cannondale that I don’t need their fancy parts and big price tags to get to the office on two wheels. All I really need is a basic bike that works. All I really need is “Old Red.”

At least I own one bike that’s never let me down.


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