Oooh, you have the same bike I do!

So let’s say I’m riding my bicycle down the road, and I see a bike like mine, the same make and model. If someone is currently riding said bike, I am compelled to point this out–”Hey, we have the same bike!” Or more usually, I just say, “Nice bike!” and smile.

If I spot the bicycle parked, I am compelled to take pictures of my bicycle next to that one.

Miyatas!!

Miyatas!

The day before yesterday I spotted another Miyata two-ten! The best part is that it was my first time on the Miyata in over a month and a half. It looks like it’s only a couple of years older or younger than mine. Theirs appears to have more of the original components, too.

tworaleighs2

tworaleighs

About a month ago I arrived at yoga to find another Raleigh Sports! Theirs is green, and I think it was newer just because the hub was much smaller; I wasn’t able to find the year number. It had a coaster brake. I think we both put on the exact same Wald basket! They are nice baskets. I winced, however, at the exposed Brooks saddle. Yikes!

I’m not completely sure why I get all excited when I see a bike like mine. I mean if you ride, say, a Surly Long Haul Trucker, you might ring your bell and wave when you see someone else riding one, but you’re not going to stop and take pictures–you’d have to do it half a dozen times a day, at least in Portland. But older Raleighs are hardly rare. Miyatas aren’t quite as common, but they’re not difficult to find either.

(As a side note: there’s been several times I’ve had difficulty convincing someone that my Raleigh isn’t worth all that much. Yes, it’s old and in fairly good shape. But they were so well-made and bomb-proof that there’s still lots of them out there! And many of them look even better than mine does!)

Part of the reason I enjoy cycling so much, is the feeling of friendliness between most cyclists out on the road. How many times have I had conversations with people who just happened to be stopped at the same red light as me? “Great day for a ride!” “Oooh, you have a generator hub, I’m jealous.” “Neat handlebars, what are they?” I’m really extroverted, I’ll admit, so doing this feels natural to me.

If they have something visibly in common with me, like a similar bike, that’s just one more layer of connection between me and this total stranger. Even if they’re not on the bike, and the bike is just parked somewhere, I know that me and this person both know something that most other cyclists don’t–how this model of bike feels to ride. Who knows, maybe they have the same nerdy appreciation for the bike that I do! And how awesome is that?

On another note, spring has officially sprung in Portland. The days are rainy (sometimes very much so, and sometimes there’s hail too) but there’s sunbreaks in there, and the daffodils are in full bloom, along with the cherry trees.

From the Morrison bridge

Taken recently while walking across the Morrison Bridge. The Hawthorne Bridge is in the foreground, in the process of going up for a little boat. I love the fog in the West Hills.

From the end of the Morrison bridge

Looking downtown from the west end of the Morrison Bridge, with Shawn. Blooming cherry trees! Ominous dark clouds that will pour rain on us in about ten minutes!

I think it’s funny that so many bike blogs are also written by photography nerds, so they have these gorgeous photos…and most of the pictures in my blog are taken by my inexpensive Cricket phone. I actually do have a digital camera, but it’s older, and I have to keep a rubber band around it to keep the batteries in, and it’s really slow to take photos, so I generally don’t carry it around. Plus I’m not that great of a photographer, so the pictures don’t often turn out all that much better than they do with my phone!

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4 Responses to Oooh, you have the same bike I do!

  1. adventure! says:

    Those poor leather saddles on the Raleighs are getting rained on! :-(

  2. Darin says:

    I ride a Long Haul Trucker in Duluth, MN and would be thrilled to see another, either ridden or parked somewhere. I would definitely take a picture. I know there are more of them around (one is actually parked next to mine in the garage, and I have taken pictures of them together), but I have not happened upon one yet in the wild.

    I think your pictures look good. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you.

    • There are so many LHT’s in Portland, Oregon…. a few years ago I was locking up at the Multomah County Bike Fair when I see these two guys checking out bikes with a puzzled expression. It looked a little odd, so I walked over and asked what was up. “We work in the town where Surly is based,” they replied, “and we’ve never seen so many Long Haul Truckers in our life.”

      The bikes got a reputation for being the best bang for your buck if you’re touring and/or riding around town carrying your groceries and/or just need an indestructible every-purpose-but-racing bicycle. My boyfriend has one, as do several of my friends. Until I got the Novara, I was planning to save up and get one myself–I still might!

      I also have a few friends with the Surly Cross Check, which is also just fine for touring, especially if you’re not going to the middle of nowhere in a non-first-world country. And you can actually race on it, too.

      And lastly, thank you for the kind word regarding my photos.

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