Grabbing Life by the (Über HOTT) Bullhorns


About two years ago, my grandmother gave me the classic 1960s Hollywood Schwinn that my mom rode back in the day. I don’t know how I survived the previous 3 years of college without a car or an amazing (all original) bike. I’ve found so much joy in riding a bike to and from the grocery store, up the hills (Powell street anyone?) of San Francisco, and pretty much anywhere I wanted to go. I love it’s rusty basket in the front, the squeaky bike seat springs and its general awesomeness.*

The only problem is how monstrously heavy the thing is (which explains why it was so well preserved; my mom only rode it for a couple of months before ditching it for a lighter 10-speed). I’m guessing it weighs somewhere between 35-45 lbs.

Since last year’s bike project worked out so well, we were thinking that some day we would build/buy a fixed-gear bike for me someday. That “someday” came a lot sooner, when I realized that running wouldn’t be a feasible athletic activity after having birthed Penelope, and my awesome cruiser was just too heavy to pull a bike trailer.

At first we tried to find frames on Craigslist (like Chris did last year), but that didn’t work out since the frames usually weren’t my size. So we thought it might be easiest to just buy a bike off the rack. We test rode a few fixies; Specialized Langster (Boston), Torelli Tipo Uno, Felt Curbside, Swobo Sanchez and Surley Steamroller, all of which were great, but had their drawbacks. Chris and I (but mostly Chris) felt like each bike would have to be upgraded after buying the bike, which defeated the purpose of getting a bike off the rack in the first place.

Luckily, Chris came across Mission Bicycles. They solved our problem exactly. We wanted a fully customizable bike that we didn’t have to build ourselves, and that’s exactly what they do. You go to the site, pick the colors and components you want, and in four weeks you have your own totally awesome bike. After I ordered my bike, Kirk at Mission Bicycles called me up to confirm my order and write down any specifics. When I went to pick up the bike, one of the guys (I’m not sure which one) fit me to the bike and made all of the necessary changes.

I’ve been so happy with my bike and now that I FINALLY have a bike trailer for Penelope, the bike no longer tortures me with it’s consuming presence. I love it. I have one problem though. I don’t have a name for her yet. Any ideas?

*The picture of my old bike is actually a photo I found somewhere online, it’s not my actual bike. blerg. Dad, if you’re reading this and you have a few spare minutes, could you photograph my bike? I think I miss it a little. Thanks for taking care of it for me, Lin.

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    1. l says:

      shirley, prudence or cecilia

    2. Melissa says:

      Not bad. Shirley bike. Shirley Whirley.

    3. Brooke says:

      Wow! It is beautiful! My road bike is that same color of blue as well.

    4. Amanda says:

      I was wondering why it didn’t have a basket on the front…

      Nice bike! We were admiring it on Sunday. :) So, what bike trailer do you have?

    5. Melissa says:

      We got an older Burley from a family living on Stanford campus.

      We test rode a bell trailer, and it was clearly inferior. I couldn’t make right turns and my heel kept hitting the hitch when I pedaled. On top of that, the guy trying to sell us the Bell trailer told us that the hitch has come off the bike before.

      I’m glad the Burley worked out, especially in time for the activity on Saturday!!

    6. Tanya says:

      A fixie? That’s pretty dang cool. I just barely heard about them and want to try one out. I heard that they are illegal in Oregon. I like the colors that you chose. I would say a summer-type name, a little retro maybe. I like Cecilia and Shirley too.

    7. […] to get more photography under my belt and I would love to take pictures of someone riding my bike (an old schwinn from the ’60s). Anyone in the Salt Lake area willing to pose for me? Please leave a […]

    8. […] . I feel like I need to wear these shoes, my most hipster clothes & just ride around town on my fixie and my gold helmet to match (safety first!). I think my coolness would spike 10 points if I did […]

    9. […] sides to add a little more flair. This helmet is SO much hipper than it was before &  matches my bike perfectly. I need to go on a ride […]

    10. CK says:

      What did you end up naming it?

    11. […] short. She’s queen of the underworld & only comes out for spring/summer. So fitting for my bike. I think I need to make a decal for my bike, too. Posted in design, […]

    12. CPSC says:

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