Thursday, October 24, 2013

Post #10: Bikeography Part VII -- The Cannondale Years

Forwarded by a loyal Bikeist reader:

Love it!  

Worst part is that the police officer didn't even understand the law. Hard enough to get by as an honest bikeist in this world without having to teach the rule enforcers the actual rules.

Love this as well:

It's a "Kickstarter" project trying to raise a modest amount of money to produce a kit that would allow Bikeists of less means throughout the world to create their own shift levers out of easy to obtain parts like bottle caps, bolts and scrap aluminum.  Check it out!
When last I left you, I was still mired in my second bike "dark period," after my beloved Schwinn Probe disappeared under murky circumstances.   Luckily, this gap in the Bikeography was short-lived, thanks to my loving Bikeist parents.  Well aware of my bike love, and how crushed I was after the theft, they had no problem figuring out what to get me for Christmas:

Look familiar?  Yes, it's the bike I lusted after in the bike shop window in Morgantown!   My parents got a good deal on this Cannondale M400 3.0 Series Mountain Bike and actually placed it in front of the tree, and, I have to admit, I was as excited as a kid on Christmas when I discovered it there (well, it was Christmas, but I wasn't, exactly a kid anymore).  Thanks, mom and dad!

The bike came back to Syracuse with me where I resumed Mountain Biking in the Spring and used it to explore backroads throughout Central New York.  It was my transportation to and from Bar Review classes, came with me to Officer Indoctrination School in Newport, RI, when I entered the Navy right after taking the bar exam (loved biking Ocean Drive in Newport during the Summer!) and was hanging from the back of the car (along with my now long-suffering wife's Specialized Crossroads) when we headed off on our Honeymoon to Nantucket and Vermont.  Yes - as should come as no surprise to anybody at this point - bikes were a key element in the consummation of our life-long bond.  I would have liked to have had them on the altar with us, but the priest would have none of it.  The vows would have been so awesome!  "Do you, soon to be long-suffering Bikeist's wife, take this man, and his bike, as your lawfully wedded husband and bike?"  Oh, well.  Anyway, with summer crowds gone, we had the wonderful Nantucket bike paths pretty much to ourselves that first week of October.  We packed picnics each day and headed to different parts of the island.  Nantucket was the perfect place for a biking Honeymoon, since there was no chance for me to extend our rides forever and ever and ever.  In fact, now that I think of it, most of our best experiences on bikes have come on islands (including the one we live on now).

After the Honeymoon, it was back to Newport for nine weeks of Naval Justice School and then off to the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT, for our first tour in the Navy.  One of my first purchases upon arrival in Connecticut:

Short Bike Rides in Connecticut

Great book that fueled many a weekend outing for us.  However, my penchant for trying to string together several "short" rides into long ones is what, eventually, led to my long-suffering wife's boycott of all rides in places not surrounded by water on all sides, and my embracing of the solitude of the life-long Bikeist.   

Next up:  The explosion that changed everything!

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