I bought my bike out of a hearse for $25. You read that right, a vintage hearse that traveled around the very artistic college town I was working and living in, selling bikes to college students in need of cheap and environmentally friendly transportation around the small village. Rumor had it that the bike dealer would take left over bikes on the campus during the summer and resell them to the new freshman during the fall.
I had the bike (Old Blue) for a year before I actually put it to use. In April 2015, I’d recently moved to Fort Wayne, not knowing anyone other than my significant other. Wanting to figure out what the city had to offer, I set off on my trusty 1975 cruiser hoping to find adventures on the bike trails and lanes in and around downtown.
My bike and I are a motley team. I’m a mid-30’s lady without the savvy bicyclist’s bells and whistles. I do, however, still have the helmet I “borrowed” (over 2 years ago) from my Mom. The old cruiser has a found milk crate secured to the back rack with zip ties, a couple of reflectors, and what is surprisingly a very comfortable, and original, seat. We aren’t flashy but we definitely get places on our 3 gears of slow, slightly less slow, and medium speeds.
Riding around the city by bike has been one of the best things I’ve done as a new Fort Waynian. It has allowed me to explore the city in a way that I never would have if I’d just driven places. I’ve found short cuts, hidden trails and neighborhoods, interacted with local businesses, and have gotten out of my desk job and in to the fresh air more often than I ever did before deciding to start riding my bike.
It has also allowed to me to meet other bicycle enthusiast/new friends in the city. They say that to make friend as an adult, find a hobby, and the easiest way to find other bicycle riders is to actually get on your bike and ride…and find a cool group like Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne!!
So if you see me and trusty Old Blue puttering around town, strap on your helmet, tuck in your pant leg, and join us for a lap around town!