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I Want To Ride My Bicycle

April 26, 2009 Bicycling, Steve Patterson 9 Comments

Warming weather always gets me thinking of the 1978 Queen song,  Bicycle Race:

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

I actually have two bikes.  One is an urban hybrid — “uglified” with stickers and such to reduce the odds of theft.  The second bike is the opposite — still urban, but very handsome.  I can tell you the last time I rode it — Saturday December 22, 2007.

12/22/07 - Stopped at Uma at 11th & Locust.
12/22/07 - Stopped at Uma at 11th & Locust.
Then visited Macys, parking at 7th & Locust
Then visited Macy's, parking at 7th & Locust
Finished trip at City Grocers at 10th & Olive.
Finished trip at City Grocers at 10th & Olive.

I had recently moved to 16th & Locust so my total distance wasn’t that great.  But as you can see I had to use other items to secure my bike while visiting stores.  City & downtown leaders have been concerned, for decades,  about providing massive quantities of automobile parking they overlooked the need for bike parking.

Despite the lack of bike parking it was a fun trip. At the time I was car-free, using my 49cc Honda Metropolitan scooter to travel longer distances.  The scooter was great but there is just something special about using a bike for transportation, getting from A to B to C under your own power.

Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties oh yeah
Fat bottomed girls they’ll be riding today
So look out for those beauties oh yeah
On your marks get set go
Bicycle race bicycle race bicycle race

Six weeks after this December bike ride downtown I suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke (2/1/08).  Although I cannot yet ride a bike, I’m optimistic that I will again.  This bike is so stunningly beautiful I must once again ride it!  Maybe next Spring?

Info on my bike:

  • Brand: Kronan (a Swedish brand)
  • Manufactured: Eastern Europe
  • Purchased from a San Diego bike shop
  • Single speed, coaster brake, 50 lbs! — old school.  3spd models available
  • New reproduction of WWII Swedish army bike
  • once again available in the US, order here (sorry no more orange), $500-$700.

And finally be sure to watch the official Bicycle Race video featuring naked women bicycling.

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. bobh says:

    What a cool bicycle.
    I’m visiting St. Louis downtown next week (Ball Park Hilton).
    Is there anywhere to rent a bike by the day?

    [slp — try http://www.trailnet.org/bikerentals.php for rentals. You can get to Big Shark via MetroLink.]

  2. john says:

    That is heavy old school. Repaired-upgraded a few old Raleighs recently including a very gentlemanly Sports model (early ’70s) and converted a Twenty (’66) into a single speed. One son uses the Twenty to ride to school and a girl said to him “that looks retro”. Ride on.

  3. susy says:

    That is an incredible bike, and a really incredible story.

  4. Jimmy Z says:

    I have 4, and don’t use any of them enough . . .

  5. MEanerness says:

    Enough about the stroke. You write that ALL THE TIME. We get you had a stroke. It’s saddening to hear and I’m glad you recovered but please sotp going on and on about it.

    [slp — I don’t like going on about it but I have to ensure a first time reader understands the situation. I am recovering but not recovered. Full recovery, it that happens, will take years. You are warned now, Friday’s post is stroke specific.]

  6. Dustin Bopp says:

    MEanerness, don’t read this blog if you don’t want to read about life through Steve’s lens. It offers him a ton of credibility especially where accessibility issues are concerned. As a close personal friend I have witnessed firsthand every painful and triumphant step of his continuing recovery and consider his resolve heroic. I am sure he would have preferred not to have almost died and then have to spend the rest of his life trying to regain some semblance of the physical freedom he once enjoyed. I assume you are able-bodied but if you had an issue that many people need a lot of insight to understand I hope they would not criticize you for trying to educate people about it. If you don’t like the subject matter then just skip it. No one forces you to read it. Just don’t be such a jerk.

    [slp — Thanks. It has now been 15 months and recovery will take at least another 15 months if not 3-5 years. I accept that. The difficult part for me is not, as you indicate, being able to enjoy the freedom I once had. To walk to the store, to go for a bike ride. I know that many readers are new to the site and may not be aware of my condition. To ensure they are in the loop I end up mentioning it often. I certainly can’t forget about it, I wish I could. If I lived in a tract home, worked in a office park, and shopped at strip malls my life wouldn’t have changed much. But that wasn’t my life.]

  7. ME says:

    It’s called criticism, and if you can’t deal with it then don’t write a reply Dustin Bopp.

  8. Frank Robbins says:

    I forgot about that big orange bike. You gotta love overengineering. Try and destroy that! It’s probably pretty good in the snow too.

  9. Jimmy Z says:

    “If I lived in a tract home . . . my life wouldn’t have changed much.” I disagree – tract homes are rarely as accessible as the new lofts downtown, especially if they’re not “ranch” houses – you’re fortunate to be where you are now!

    [slp — true, but my point is I walk, do steps and drive. The lifestyle in suburbia (drive to store vs. walk) would see less disruption from an urban lifestyle where walking, cycling and scootering is the norm (for me at least). But yes, I am so fortunate on so many levels!]


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