I am suddenly a rich man. Not in the financial sense of bank accounts filled with millions of dollars or amazing houses in Aspen, Santa Barbara, Tuscany and Provence.
No, nothing so prosaic and unrewarding. I have inherited by pure chance a vintage, oringial, made in the USA, Schwinn Super Sport built in October, 1971.
How did I come upon such an unexpected treasure? I bought a small house up in the Sierra mountains of California. A cabin in the classic Western railroad town of Truckee. The house came furnished and the garage filled with goodies because the aging former owner didn’t have the energy or interest to clean the place out.
So when I examined the garage, what I found parked in the back, were two bikes. One, a nondescript Fuji mountain bike of little interest and then, incredibly, astonishingly, this green beauty from Schweiin. It was in very good condition, all the original equipment.
Clearly the previous owner was not in the habit of biking much at all so there was nothing in need of serious attention. Except for rotted tires and the need for a full tune-up for derailleur and brakes, it was ready to roll again.
When I brought it into my usual bike shop, I didn’t even have a chance to extoll my good fortune. The young guy behind the counter smiled immedialty, his eyes wide open, taking in this classic piece of cycling American. I gave him a nod like “oh yeah, the real deal, right?”
Perhaps this is some karmic rebalancing since this week my Serotta TI Colorado road bike with Mavic Kysirium wheelset, carbon cockpit and brand new Knog lights front and rear was stolen. That was a sad and soon to be exceedingly expensive event — my freak proportions always dictate a custom frame.
Nevertheless, I can’t complain and this weekend I’m turning the Schwinn Super Sport over to my wife who has every intention of getting back into cycling this summer. I’m a rich man and this is my gift to give.