The bike that started it all. I'd had other bikes before this one, Mostly kids bikes and then a few 10 speeds mostly by the department store brands of the time, Huffy and Murry. I did get to "experience" my first ambulance ride in what could be considered my early mountain biking days. I say "experience" because I was unconscious for most if not all of it. The Murry could also be considered my first front suspension bike. It was actually a spring on the front fork that did something. I think it mostly looked cool. So I come around from my friend Jeff's house, down the banking and into the road when my front wheel hits a big patch of sand and that's about the last thing I remember. No helmet of course, I'm pretty sure bike helmets hadn't even been invented in the early 80s.
Skip ahead several years and 10 speed bikes to my Huffy Wind. It was called the Wind because the tubes were flattened to give an "Aero" design. I'm not sure how a bike that must have weighed in at 50lbs could be called the Wind but it was a nice marketing attempt. I road it to the end of my street and left it near the bridge by the waterfall. When I went back for it it was gone. This would have been a horrible thing except they left a Takara bike with a slight dent in the down tube that looked like it had probably run into a wall. I decided, well, a trade is a trade and I didn't have much choice so I brought the bike home. We figured that the bike was probably stolen just like mine was and they were just trading bikes. I think we made some attempt to find the owner but came up short. In the end I took that bike apart, cleaned out the bearings and when I got it running smooth it was a world different than any other bike I had riden. It was at that moment that I realized that department store bikes sucked. After riding that bike for a few weeks or months I can't remember, my father asked if I would like to get a new bike. We went to The Portland Bicycle Exchange and bought my first real bike, a Univega Viva Sport. Not the Univega Viva Sport I am writing about in this post, not yet. My dad bought a matching one in his size. That was the start of my true passion for bikes and I think it was the start of my Dad's passion too. We got bikes for the rest of the family and brought the to Acadia National Park to ride the park loop road and climb Cadillac Mt. Once I was grown and he moved to Florida he started riding more than I
did for a number of years. I think he's done more charity rides than I
have. I wish we could have shared more of the passion together. In
2010 he lost the battle with Cancer.
After a few years I traded my first Viva Sport for the one I ride to this day. I'm not even sure why. But the new model was much nicer. I remember that it cost $405 somewhere around 1987. It was paid for with lawn mowing money.
I'm still riding the same bike today, 25 years later. Original frame, wheels, handlebars, fork, brakes and laptop sized bike computer. In 2011 I put around 1500 miles on it. With 5 other bikes this one still remains a favorite. It's supposed to be a nice day today...Maybe I'll have to get it out for a ride...............