Driving and Biking in the Big City

My Bike Streak

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Streak leans against Vinny.

I have spent more waking hours alone with my bike Streak in the last three years than I have with any other person, place or thing. On the weekends and when I get home from Houston, I am very likely to saddle up and ride the thoughts of the day away. Streak is a white 1.2 Trek, perhaps at the bottom of the Trek pricing range but certainly the top of the luxury line for me and a decision it took me several years to make. Nonetheless, it is a decision that I’ve never once regretted. I ride like the wind on Streak, maneuver corners and out-distance harassing tweeners who would sass any invader (me) of (their) private conversations, surreptitious cigarette smoking or graffiti writing.

I can easily lift Streak with one hand; he adds no weight to my ride. The tiny little seat was fit perfectly to my body by the professionals at Bike Barn, along with the positioning of the handlebars. I can truly tell my girlfriends that, “Yes, I’m comfy on that little seat.” As a matter of fact, a bike like Streak is an all new biking experience — much like low flying.

My history with bike riding starts with a blue bike I can’t quite remember but that my oldest and dearest friend still remembers enviously. I grew up with that bike. I rode it with my neighborhood gang to the local water tower to climb it. I raced it to the movies and drug store. Eventually Blue Bike and I launched together  over what today would be a bike ramp only back then was a piece of wood and some strategically inclined mud. So that we would fly into the air before splashing into the canal behind girlhood home.

It was the era of one bike fits all. So while I finally grew to be big enough for it, I also grew to long for these new fangled bikes called 10-speeds. And, when I finally bought my own 10-speed with the money I made working at the local newspaper, I bought it in pieces so that I could save a few bucks by putting it together myself. I’m not a great mechanic but am an excellent reader and follower of instructions. It lasted into my marriage and college days when I could not even count the number of bikes we bought second and third hand only to have them stolen, chains snapped off and left dangling.

I currently have a total of three bikes, including Streak, Purple Streak and Blue Streak. Purple Streak is a hybrid and has seen most of my fun rides, most of which have been Tour de Pink to fight breast cancer. Blue Streak is a cruiser and a bit of a mountain bike with a large woven basket for neighborhood chores, especially to the library.

Streak’s name came to me in a flash but is also pretty serendipitous because it is the name of a beloved sidekick in the Cajun detective novels by James Lee Burke, who is one of my most favorite writers. I love nothing better than to saddle up Streak with a new Dave  Robicheaux novel downloaded on my Sansa and breeze through the shaded greenbelts of Kingwood to the tune of an adventure with Dave and Streak. The descriptions remind me enough of Houston to transport me through the miles and back home again.

Unlike our four-wheeled friend, Vinny, Streak has many more years of biking and riding in the Big City.


Written by commuterchroniclesdbh

April 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm

One Response

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  1. I love the image of you flying through the beautiful greens spaces of Kingwood with a novel in your ear buds!! That is so free feeling!!! We should get a bike tour going somewhere in Houston and get Jim to lead it for us!

    Thank you again for this awesome blog!

    Barbara Shreffler

    April 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm

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