Friday, February 4, 2011

Old Friends

Well, Thursday was a good day, made all the more pleasant by a visit to the shop by an old friend. Phil and I were good friends in high school and into our college years, but as time went by and we both went on about our lives and moved various places, we fell out of touch. A few years ago, after I'd been back in the DC are a couple of years, we managed to hook up for lunch once, and caught up on each other's lives a bit. Then life took hold again and we fellout of touch for a while. Fortunately, we didn't go quite as long this time before reconnecting, and today he came out to see the shop.

It was great to catch up... a lot has happened in each of our lives over the years, but it's great to find there's still a bond between old friends. And I have to admit, it was fun showing him around the shop, and talking about this exciting new chapter of my life. And hearing him talk about his family was wonderful too. He's a good guy, and I suspect a great dad. Business was slow today (can you say January?) so we had time for a nice long visit.

One extra added surprise to the visit... and another reunion of sorts...

Back in 1980, I bought my Trek 414 road bike that I've written about before. Part of how I managed to finance that was by selling Phil my '77 Fuji S-10S. The Fuji was the first bike I bought for myself, rather than receiving as a gift from my parents, and I loved that bike. But being young and fickle, a few years later I wanted something "better", so I bought the Trek. And it was and is a better bike all around, no doubt about it, and I've had a lot of great rides and great adventures on the Trek. It's a bike I never expect to part with. But the Fuji always had a special place in my memory, as my first "good" bike, and the first paid for by my ow
n labor.

Imagine my surprise when Phil pulls up with the very same Fuji on the back of his car. And better yet, presents it to me as a gift! I knew he still had it after all this time, and he'd said he hadn't really ridden it in a long time, but I really didn't expect him to just show up and give it to me. It's a little dusty, and could use a good cleaning and probably an overhaul, but all in all in great shape, just like I remember, save for the Fujita leather saddle, which Phil discarded long ago. That sucker was made of some seriously thick and stiff leather, harder and less forgiving than the Brooks saddles I like so much. Still, it was a good saddle, and it's a shame it's gone... but that's a tiny quibble. It's SO good to see this bike again, and to think of fixing it up and riding it again!


bikelovejones said...

Have you been six-feet-plus since you were like, um, twelve? That bike is every bit as tall as the rest of your stable.
Nice of your pal to bring it back for you. Enjoy, and be sure to post pix when it's all dolled up.

Tim said...

Actually, I bought the bike in '77, when I was sixteen and just finishing my sophomore year in high school. I had just had my growth spurt... I'd been about 5'5"-5'6" for a long time, then shot up during high school. About the same time I lost a lot of weight and my hair got curly, so I have to imagine folks were kinda surprised.

I am looking forward to fixing the bike up and riding it! It's been a long time.

John Pickett said...

My first self-financed bike was a 1978 Raleigh Grand Prix. I rode it for 13 years, six of which included nasty New England winters. "Big Blue" was a trusty steed until a fork snapped off mid-ride on the Custis Trail. Ultimately it became cheaper to buy a new bike than to replace and repair all its worn components so I gave it to charity. I seriously doubt that it is still on the road. The replacement bike, a Trek 1200 bought at Metropolis in Shirlington in the late 1980s is still ridden by my friend Paul.

Anonymous said...

So cool that he presented your old bike to you unannounced and with little fanfare. He sounds like a good and true friend.