Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The 'Thanking Your Bicycle' Give-Away!

Have you thanked your bicycle lately? Just think of all the wonderful things our velocipedian friends have done for us! Surely they deserve a little thanks? To inspire you, I have prepared a little give-away for the Thanksgiving holiday.

As a small "thank you" to my readers, I will be giving away a hand-knitted "cycling hat" - made especially for the recipient, in their size. The hat will be 100% wool - a soft wool that feels nice against your skin, densely knitted to protect against the wind. The shape is as pictured above and also here. It covers the ears, and can either be worn on its own or (and I am 98% sure about this) will fit under a helmet. The pattern will be stripey - using whatever colours spontaneously come to mind out of what I have available. If the recipient is male, I can make "manly coloured" stripes as well. And if you hate a particular colour, you can request that I not include it. The finishing at the top of the hat is as shown in the picture above. Just a simple, fun and (hopefully) useful hat, custom made for you by me.

If you would like to be considered for the "Thanking Your Bicycle Give-Away," here are the guidelines:

Please write a thank you note to your bicycle in the "Remarks" section of this post. 
Description of your bicycle and a links to pictures are a bonus, but not required. 
If you have multiple bicycles, multiple entries are eligible. One entry per bicycle. 
Entries should be posted between the start of Wednesday, November 24th and the end of Friday, November 26th.
International entries are eligible from all corners of the world with reliably functional postal systems.
Shipping will be taken care of.
Recipient will be announced Sunday, November 28th.

Thank you for reading Lovely Bicycle, and enjoy!

57 comments:

  1. To my dear cyclocross-cum-commuter,

    Though I built you in the name of function with no thought given to form, I think that you would agree that this suits you best. Together we have raced, we have braved the pot-holes of East LA, and we have very nearly been run over more times than I can count. Though I have not always shown you love, I depend on you dearly and would be lost without you. Thank you for taking me to school, to work, and to podiums; you are vital to my performance in life.

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  2. Dear bike,

    I know that this is not a proper name for you, but it's what I decided to call you when we first met at that garage sale.You were lonely, stripped of beautiful paint, missing a wheel, and 50% off. More importantly, you were very heart broken. You previous owner just didn't care at all it seemed. You guys must have had a fight.

    But that's when I brought you home and took you apart. I know you were frightened, especially when I stripped the rest of the paint off. Although you were just a bare frame, you were absolutely gorgeous. Your lugs. Oh those lugs. They are a work of art now. No one does this type of craftsmanship anymore. Did I mention your lugs?

    Remember when I got you those new clothes? Your brand new headset, seat, wheel set, chainring, and handlebar? I hope you liked them, because I sure do. You were surprised when I showed you all these things. You marveled at them with such curiosity. You must have been confused. Why was I doing this?

    But when I repainted you with a primer, clear, and powder coat. Oh, the look on your face. You were happy once again. You wanted to ride once more. You wanted to feel the road, see the city, and talk with all the other bikes.

    And to this day, you and I have met many people, seen many things, and have had some of the best experiences together. From riding to the docks to slipping and sliding in snow. From sleeping beside me in my room and telling stories to each other to getting me to and from my University. Every single mile we experience together is bliss to me.

    I know you must be thankful, Bike. Thankful that I brought you back to life and gave you a second chance. But I am the one who should be thankful for you. You, Bike, are the one that brought me back to life.

    Signed,

    Alex
    (watermelonbread@gmail.com)

    P.S. Here's some pictures of you. I thought you look nice in these.

    http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/570/picture1tw.png
    http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/139/dsc0005uti.jpg
    http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/5208/dsc0056n0.jpg
    http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/8901/dsc0007x0.jpg

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  3. I would like to thank my Giant for diligently watching her weight all these years. While the other "trendy" bikes have gotten heavier or lighter according to the latest fad and accessories, she has been strong and resisted all peer pressure. As a result I can still carry her up the three flight of stairs on the far end of the train bridge.

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  4. I would like to thank my CCM for putting up with me as I take her to pieces during peak cycling time and for waiting patiently while I take my Giant out day after day. I promise, once the new Archer 3 speed hub with coast brake is no longer of back order, it will have been worth all the pain and heart ache I have put you through this year.

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  5. I would like to thank Vita, my Pashley Princess Sovereign, for teaching me every day that less is more, that you just need a little bit of spontaneity, a pinch of adventure and a two wheel best friend to explore the world with new eyes!

    My blog revolves around you and my experiences of my city one [pedal] revolution after another :)

    I raise my glass to many more adventures together! LC x

    [thanks Velouria for the lovely giveaway!!]

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  6. Ali was right when she told me, "Remember, we are always here for you, and so is your bike." Thank you, Nimrod, you mighty hunter, for never failing me.

    When everything else fell apart -- losing my job, losing my wife, all in the same month -- someone moved to Romania and had to let you go. And we found each other. You are three years older than me but did you know we share a birthday? We will have cake in January!

    You and I had a long, strange winter, exploring the silent city during seven months of unemployment and the depths of heartbreak. You never asked what was wrong, never pressured me to speak. You were just there. You listened. We watched the sunrise from the hilltop cemetery and I whispered my woes. We explored the abandoned prison farm and I talked through my grief. Your freewheel's whizzzz was the only comment offered. Thank you for listening.

    We had those long hours to get to know each other. That is when I learned you liked fluted fenders. That you wanted a rear basket. Remember when I found your voice, when I brought home that brass bell? And when we removed the original, 34-year-old wrap on your handlebars? Now they are a brilliant hunter green. A mighty hunter, just like you, Nimrod. You fit my style perfectly, but I fit yours, too.

    Those small things -- too, too little -- were my poor way of thanking you for being my constant companion. We are a badass duo, friend. We toured our first century, just us, into the Georgian countryside, and several after.

    We planned and led an urban bike tour and a Labor Day seersucker social; though already noted in the bike community, you became my best accessory and with you, we became something of bike celebrities. Folks flung compliments like laurels as we whizzed by, bold with bow tie and brass bell. Remember when those racers tick-tacked over in their cleats to scope you out, envious? We even ended up on a bike blog. http://atlantastreetfashion.blogspot.com/2010/08/in-old-fourth-ward-new-friend.html

    You were there when I met Laura. She said she was smitten with me but you sealed the deal. Thanks, wingman! Her lime green Schwinn looks awfully nice, huh? Huh? (I know you liked how I cozied you two up on the car rack: you're welcome.)

    Without your steadfast support, Nimrod, I might still have come through this all. But not like this. Not whole. Back at scratch and my first fully car-free year, I needed you and you gave all you had. I owe you what I am now.

    You were always there for me, Nimrod. Thank you. (P.S. What do you say to some cream tires for your birthday?)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Ute,

    Thanks for being ever stalwart. I often feel that you suffer through the daily grind on dirty streets while your siblings hang out waiting for sunny weekend afternoons. They sit, “hanger queens”, in the relative warmth of the garage with glistening chains while you sit with your drive chain covered in salt and sand.
    I sense however, that you wouldn’t want it any other way- that sitting in the garage just isn’t your bag. I understand: some of the best days for us are when we are together on the open road in conditions that leave most bikes at home- and we always tough it through. Thanks again. Here is a link to your family photos……http://yubamundosforeveryone.blogspot.com/

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  8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/poetas/4506281098/

    Dear Bertram,

    I'm not a person who is talented at verbal praise, but you are one of my most valued companions. You have a gift for enabling the people around you, and you are a pleasure to be around - qualities which many people sorely lack. You are low maintenance, capable of standing on your own, with an inner strength that is freely given to help others whenever they need it (after all, how can we help others unless we are first centered in ourselves?). You are confident in your identity, and no ill-informed comments about you being a lifestyle prop or a fashion accessory will damage your ego.

    In short, I feel that in our relationship, I receive from you as much or more than I give, and I am both humbled and grateful for that, as it seems to be extremely rare. Thank you.

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  9. Pleasantly surprised to see so many entries from men - very cool, and thanks for reading guys!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You're welcome for reading, it's a pleasure.

    I've been meaning to do a kind of anatomy of how I dress for cold weather, thanks for reminding me with the wool cap :)

    Now the only problem I have is finding daylight hours when I can actually take decent photographs :)

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  11. Actually that's a big problem for me as well! I don't take pictures when I am actually cycling for transportation, as I am usually in a hurry or thinking about non-bike stuff. So when I do take pictures it's staged, when I have spare time. Lately the spare time has not coincided with daylight, so alas lots of recycled pictures from the past!

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  12. Thank you Bike,

    You're a Handsome Devil and I appreciate that you help me:
    -Pedal away pounds
    -Spin up miles of smiles
    -crank away the blues
    -Glide into serene calm

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  13. Forgot the Photo!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryans_rando/4838592030/

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear goldilocks,
    Thank you so much for changing my view of drop bar bikes and encouraging me all the while. As intimidated as I was, you were right there telling me all the while I could do it, checking in to make sure I was not in discomfort. And when I was confident and praising you, you took me down another path, commuting to and from work over a bridge I didn't know I could climb. Thank you for giving me all that you have, you are lovely and French and very glamorous in all your golden glory, we have many new firsts ahead of us!!
    Sincerely,
    Yours

    http://trufflesandpearls.blogspot.com/2010/11/review-of-road-bike.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. "goldilocks" !
    You guys are brilliant

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  16. Victor, (my vintage Raleigh DL-1), I appreciate you hauling me back and forth to work. The ride is always pleasing and smooth, the feeling of freedom that provide me with is very enjoyable.
    Now that I have been commuting with you, I can't imagine a commute without you. Please forgive me for not buying you new shoes and a proper saddle right now, I will though, my friend.
    Your Closest Friend,
    Luke

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  17. To my stalwart stallion the Red Bridgestone Baron,

    From your candy apple frame to the smooth acceleration of your power train, everything about you is a cyclist's delight. Like a puppy from the local shelter you showed up on Craigslist - a classic Bridgestone Mt. bike looking for a good home. Just one look and I fell hard for you, my Pegasus. You took to a minor makeover [north end bars, rack and a Minnehaha saddle bag] like a ballet dancer takes to a new pair of slippers. Now the two of us are inseparable, like Roy Rogers and Trigger. Tomorrow, after Thanksgiving dinner is consumed, there will be no couch for me but rather the well formed leather of your Brooks saddle as we enjoy a holiday spin. Let us grow old together, my magnificent steed!

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  18. Thanks for getting me home safe and sound today. It was a nice ride around the farm, beautiful blue sky with temperatures in the 60's. Just right. You allow me to get away, to go where ever I want just you and me. I see that a friend is defined as someone you can trust/count on. Well mighty steed I see I can count on you to take me on adventures in a quiet, poetic way. Further than I can walk but without the roar of the car engine, a quiet, peaceful journey. You allow me to look around at my surroundings. Today we saw through the open woods, just a little of autumn's leaves still present, to glimpse winter coming on. We found a forgotten graveyard in ruins lost in trees beside the road. Most markers were on their sides, the names fading away. We stopped for a short visit, paid our respects and rode off. Rode off and away for now. Thank you, my young beautiful bicycle, for getting me safely home.

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  19. To my steel beauties,
    A mis bellas maquinas de acero,

    Thank you for giving a wonderful year of pedal fun! Gracias por un fantastico año de divertido pedaleo.

    ~Kept me sane and fit.
    ~Me ayudasteis a ser en forma física y metal.

    ~Made me feel the wind, rain and sun in my face
    ~Me ayudasteis a senir el aire, la lluvia y el sol en mi cara

    ~kept me humble
    ~Me ayudasteis a ser modesta

    ~Introduced me new friends
    ~Me ayudasteis a conocer amig@s nuevos

    ~Got me reading, writing and learning about bicyles
    ~Me ayudasteis aprender, leer y escribir más sobre bicicletas

    ~Remined me that it's ok to fall down
    ~Me ayudateis a ver que no pasa nada cuando te caes

    ~ And you taught me how good it feels to stand up again after a fall

    ~Y me enseñasteis lo bien que saber el levantarse despues de una caida

    http://spaceridergal.blogspot.com/2010/11/100-posts-100-articulos.html

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  20. Dear Grocery Store Bike,
    Thank you for leaving your roadie pretensions behind and getting me back and fourth to the store in such high (and upright) style.
    Your friend,
    RJD

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AxlUDHr4ZmrlL2jmWYB2D22HUuLwderOGY-_OR_SLPc?feat=directlink

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dear XO-4,
    Thank you so much for being there on Craigslist just when I realized there was no way I could spring for a Sam.
    Your friend,
    RJD

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7jDQsyusUVIFHIaZTc-oom2HUuLwderOGY-_OR_SLPc?feat=directlink

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dear Miyata 310,
    You know you love your new handlebars, brake levers, and compact double just as much as your perfect vintage paint. So quit pinning for 1984. We’ve got miles to go in 2011.
    Your true riding companion,
    RJD

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Wm6R89d2PhfrNnGthIEkUm2HUuLwderOGY-_OR_SLPc?feat=directlink

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dearest, gorgeous Penelope,
    How patient you've been this winter and spring, when the days have been cool and gorgeous and I should have been riding you and not tucked behind a computer for too many hours each day. Not once did you reproach me or nudge me hopefully with your front wheel. You simply waited, and knew in your little steel heart I'd find balance in my life again.
    And hasn't the last month been wonderful? We've been out together in the sunshine, and you're just as grateful for it as I. You haven't chided me for not being fit, but have given me smooth rides and untold joy. Especially that last time at Olympic Park, along the roadside, when I flicked you into top gear, kept up my cadence and we simply flew past my husband on his road bike. He couldn't catch us. Imagine! It was like riding the wind. My lovely Pashley, when I'm riding you I feel invincible. You just haven't given me two wheels to play with, you've given me wings.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_z__rFUxPpWc/S-dgwjLgP8I/AAAAAAAAAUs/zSSeO-QYfEw/s400/olympicpkmay101.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  24. My Black Bicycle

    To most you are but plain, but
    To the trained eye you are so fine
    I Love you my black bicycle, when
    I have pedaled my last pedal your wheels
    Will roll silently on
    After I die

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  25. Dear Carine, (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55572574@N04/sets/72157625199616077/)

    First of all, I want to thank you for existing. You were made just for me by someone I really respect and admire, and that makes you seem far more like a precious gift than like something I bought. You already know that I wake up in the middle of the night almost every night and come downstairs to make sure no one is stealing you, but you're worth it, baby.

    While I'm at it, thank you for being so beautiful! Your chic pale grey milkshake brings all the boys AND all the girls to the yard... where I then talk to them about bicycles. You were even featured right at the front of the tweed ride group shot (http://onceuponabicycle.com/?p=32) you lovely creature, you. Every time I unlock the file room door to let you out after work, just seeing you waiting there with your stunning good looks helps brush off some of the day's mental BS.

    Thank you for having the perfect "all-arounder" ride. You carry my shopping bags with peerless grace, and yet, when I choke up on your grips, I can really get moving. You're comfortable to go to the store with, or much further. I think the other bicycles have begun to get jealous, but I say let 'em talk.

    Thanks also for putting up with my bike blog inspired "skill practice". I'm getting better at mounting you correctly, and I've even learned to cross my leg through your frame and step off you like an elegant lady. I realize that many people would say my low skill level disqualifies me from having such a special bicycle, but the "hug" you give me with your handlebars every time I carry you up the front steps says otherwise. Thank you for making me want to be worthy of you.

    I know we've only been together for a month, but I already feel like old friends. Let's say you and I go for a nice long ride over the weekend, hmmn? If predictions hold true, a gift will be arriving in the mail for you on Saturday, so we can test it out :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ok velouria, I won't win this one, too many poets already. But alas I could not resist sending a pic of my own fun and thanks to my relatively new Sam Hillborne on this Turkey Day.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your readers - BTW it's obvious you live the axiom I talking about here too at: www.15axioms.com keep up the good work.

    Best, kjr

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  27. Thank you to all my bicycles, for freeing me from my least favorite errand -- filling the gas tank! Thank you for making every single errand and commute the best part of my day.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks Kevin and enjoy your Hillborne. I just got a pannier in the mail today like the ones you have in your pictures - these are so nice!

    Lynne - I always hated that too. The smell of gasoline from the open nozzle would make me nauseous.

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  29. I once thought that motorized transport was the only mode for me. The battered secondhand mixtes I acquired for theft deterrence over function were grudgingly ridden on occasion, but only in fair weather and never in a skirt. No one made a bicycle that could tempt me away from my motorcycle ways, nor meet my high standards of artistry.

    But one look at you, my darling Miss G, and I was smitten: the gorgeous blue, the shiny chrome, the curls and swirls of your lugs. I jumped at the chance for a test ride and knew within minutes that we should never part. We merged into one form and raced down the road, flying like the wind. No one could catch us, everyone would watch us. The world faded away until there was nothing but you and I and the wide open sky. Glorious, glorious, glorious bicycle.

    The January day you arrived at my house, we've been inseparable ever since. No other mode of transport will do; if I can't get there on my Glorious, then it's not a place worth going. Work meetings, garage sales, gala events, and weddings; you take me everywhere in fine fashion or low. Through rain and lightning, hail and sleet, wind and snow, broken bones and sprained joints our bond has prevailed. I long for you when we are apart and crave our rides together more deeply than I crave italian espresso.

    You are the most beautiful bicycle in the world! And the speed, oh the speeds we reach! If it weren't for you, I would still have that beastly car; stuck fuming daily in bumper to bumper traffic. Have I mentioned that our daily rides have allowed me to continue indulging my love for all things sweet and buttery?

    The list of your graces and delights is endless and the joy you've brought me is boundless! I sing your praises daily and do so now for the world to see. Thank you for making each day more exhilarating than the last, my darling Miss G.

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  30. Though they do her no justice, I've posted a few photos of Miss G, my pearly blue Rivendell Glorious, here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenna-renee/

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh my dear, sweet, strong bicycle....this year teaching has been very stressful and sometimes at the end of the day, I just feel like giving up! But every day at the end of work, I look at your beautiful, soft grey frame and oh-so-comfy Brooks saddle, your granny lines and tough physique, hop on to you and take off through the town. No matter what was happening before, by the end of our ride, I have forgotten the humdrum and glum stress of the day and on to a wonderful evening. There is nothing, at all, like you. - P

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you bike

    http://bicycle.webnode.com/images/200000026-df992e0934-public/after1.JPG

    , for bringing me into cycling again.
    You were snubbed due to your humble background and weird geometry, but I must say you were the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Haro, they don't call you the Impulse for nothing. I want to thank you for all the years of being that one bike I can always turn to at an impulsive moments notice. Though I love all my bikes your the one out of the three that I run to as my old standby, when I want to hop on the bike and just go. I don't have to worry about clipping in and out, changing my riding attire, or setting suspension. You're double-diamond red frame is still perfect. The word IMPULSE engrossed in white letters on the down tube is still legible after all these years. You look as LOVELY today as you did back in the 90's. All your Shimano DeoreLX components still thrive and your easy reach brakes and shifter are reliable and effortless. Your 4230 Crmo fork has traversed many a trail and its strength holds true to what they say. The original Greenfield kick stand, as unattractive as it may be, keeps you standing, yes Haro, just like that Elton John song: I'm Still Standing. You're my "knight rider" as well; the bike I feel safest on when riding the roads at night. Your knobby Bontrager tires keep me safe. Whether on the road, or on the trails I can count on you for a short journey when time only allows me 20 or 30 minutes to escape and satisfy my wanderlust ways. And, even though I'm looking for one more bike to add to the collection, a bike with an English, Dutch, or Italian lineage ...Haro, you will always stay; your family. Some may call you low end, but your high end on my list.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/imagineimages1lfe

    SM

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  34. O dearest Smokey,

    I give thanks for (even though I'm from Melbourne and we don't have Thanksgiving, I like to pretend we do) how you have transformed my life. I've written it in dot points as I know you like order and efficiency:

    Thanks for:

    1. Transforming me from an unpunctual person to a punctual one. With you I'm never late for work, as I'm no longer subject to the vagaries of unreliable trams, the smelly armpits of strangers and loud obnoxious conversations of school kids.

    2. Being a trusty steed, even when I may have had a shandy too many. You get me home safely and cheaply, without having to fight for a cab on the mean late night streets. There's nothing better than coming out of the pub onto the pavement to find you shining in the streetlight, ready to take me home.

    3. Providing the ultimate fashion accessory. You really add to my outfits, with your cool gunmetal grey frame and white wheels, your single speed slickness. But more than that you provide my outfits with cache, as pedestrians see me pedal by in my vintage frock and heels and admire my commitment to bicycling and fashion.

    4. Keeping me fit as I enjoy the smells of spring in Melbourne. There's no better way to enjoy the fragrant blossoms and the warmth of the November afternoons than by riding you around my hood.

    5. Finally - for brightening my days. You make me feel good about so many things - feeling energised and fit, not adding to my city's pollution, getting me everywhere quickly without worry, cost and tardiness and lastly being a beautiful fast ride, allowing me to finally be competent and good at a sporting pursuit. You've given me what I've always wanted - a kick arse hobby - and for that, I give thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  35. To My Bicycle On Thanksgiving, 2010

    How I love my dear old bike,
    Yes let me count the ways:
    Your paint though chipped and cracked and dull,
    Still brightens up my days.
    Your tires tho' worn from countless miles
    Still carry me to and fro'.
    Your saddle gives me firm support,
    As down each road we go.
    Your handlebars are strong and true,
    You never steer me wrong,
    You lift my spirits when I'm blue,
    And turn my cares to song.
    I plucked you from an old garage
    Where you were left to die,
    And now reborn you'll always be
    The apple of my eye.

    Rich Polinski
    1955 Montgomery Ward Hawthorne Cruiser

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello Hillborne,

    Thanks for carrying me steadily through traffic, with loads of things like sketchbooks and stamps. Thanks for putting up with my crap, as I flirt with indecision and impulse...do I need a cappuccino or a burrito?

    I don't always know.

    But you take me everywhere. And I love you for it.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=455056413661&set=a.501952778661.300818.758103661

    Thanks,
    Alice

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you everyone again for taking the time to post these fantastic entries! I am feeling the bicycle love : )

    ReplyDelete
  38. http://www.ibikedb.net/bikes/36234-ficelle-mixte

    To my White steel,
    I am glad I found you. Thank you for the countless kilometers you've carried me through and the savings too. And thanks in advance for more miles to go before I sleep.

    Andy Pascua
    Manila , Philipines
    strong88@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Princess Panda,

    We've been a team, haven't we? Do you remember the first mountains we climbed together? The first time we camped out? The night a goat ate your drink bottle caps?

    You carried me across Europe and didn't tell me to leave the books and jars of jam and cookware behind. You've never questioned why we left and where we're going, just let the winds carry you. Your brakes have never failed on a downhill and you've only gotten punctures on the flat. What more could I ask for in a bicycle.

    Thanks for being such a great companion

    Emma

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44035871@N08/4893883462/

    ReplyDelete
  40. It’s been a long time now, old friend, coming up for 80,000 miles by my reckoning since we first started riding together back in ’99. In that time we’ve ridden through Zanzibar and gone off to Istanbul, done the length and breadth of Britain, toured Wales, Orkney and the Yorkshire Dales, followed Hadrian’s Wall and shadowed the Danube from the Black Forest to Budapest. All well and good, those shared adventures, high points, and I treasure the memories, but as I look back over the years and miles, with wisdom bought with age and experience, I see than the really important rides were the ones we did – and do – every day, and close to home: those morning loops through the Sussex weald, or along the coast, those long Sunday rides over Beachy Head, the eight, maybe ten, thousand miles we ride together over the course of each year, year in, year out, in all winds and weathers.
    I’d always wanted to travel and see the world and over the past thirty years it has been my good fortune to have seen quite a bit, writing for magazines and generally at somebody else’s expense. But when I look back now at all the modes of travel that have seduced me over the years, I can see that only you – the bicycle – have ever stayed true. The thrill of earning my driver’s license barely outlasted my teens, and a few college road trips, while the thought of going to an airport these days, ticket in hand – once the very summit of glamour – has become merely the halo before a migraine.
    Even the romance of taking the night train, or embarking on a long sea voyage to distant places has turned out to be much like the aroma of fresh ground coffee: somehow the stuff always smells better than it tastes. Sad to say but there’s nowhere I really want to go anymore, or at least nowhere that’s worth the ghastliness of getting there by the usual commercial means. But when I wheel you out of the garden shed each morning, and set off down the street, the jadedness falls away. The old jaunty expectancy returns. The world becomes big again, bright and shiny as a new minted penny, rich in detail and ripe for exploration. Preserving that sense of wonder is so precious. And for that ‘thank you’ hardly seems enough.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Dear Fiona,

    thank you for being lovely and sturdy and reliable and for making my commute feel elegant and fun. You let me dress you up with the changing seasons and you never flinch at my latest idea for appropriate bike decor, be it wildly colored fall leaves or silvery holiday ribbon. You take it all in good fun and accept that no one else on campus is as wildly decked out as you are. You're about a decade older than me and have so much wisdom to share, which I'll gladly listen to on our leisurely rides through town.

    Thanks, Fiona! You mean the world to me.

    S.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/51061888@N05/5046425318/in/set-72157624729137082/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/51061888@N05/4975844228/in/set-72157624729137082/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/51061888@N05/4893444509/in/set-72157624729137082/

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  42. I would like to thank my bike for always letting me feel like an explorer. Whether riding singletrack miles from the nearest road or taking a quick shortcut through an alley in town I am always privileged to views and scenery that escape non-riders. I also appreciate the fact that my bike allows me to live in the modern world at what I consider a more "human scale"than that of cars and freeways.

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  43. Dear Bee,

    thank you for coming into my life when I least expected it and for surprising me with how much fun I could have by going fast. You're quick and nimble and race around town with me as if your life depended on it. You're bright and cheerful and are often the one ray of sunshine on a dreary winter day.

    You're a patchwork of parts and your mismatched black chainguard and black basket against your yellow frame is what led me to name you Bee. You remind me of my childhood spent helping my grandfather - a beekeeper - during all of my school breaks, always surrounding by bees and fields of flowers.

    You bring joy into my life in such an easy, simply way. Thank you, Bee.

    S.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/51061888@N05/5180621514/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/51061888@N05/5179736339/in/set-72157625396730356/

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  44. http://tinyurl.com/2925v99

    Dear Shelby,

    How did you manage to call to me, a young southern girl who hadn't ridden a bike since she was a child? How did you convince me to take on the challenges of a vintage bike with no bicycle knowledge? Perhaps it was your understated beauty, with faded blue and red paint. Maybe it was the rust pantina on your full metal fenders, or the flower shape of your crank. But you knew I needed you; I needed your life lessons.

    You're sixty-two years young, and your patience knows no bounds. When I took you apart as a bicycle novice, you did not quiver. When I felt lost after a hard day at a new job, you let the wind fly through my hair. When I wanted to back out of a new party, you gently urged me onward.

    You introduced me to new friends, new hobbies, new life.

    Thank you for your wisdom: for teaching me to be brave on the streets, for giving me strength as a young woman alone in a new city, for showing me simple joy when life seemed dark.

    Thank you Shelby, for being my best friend. You have brought so much happiness to my new life. I sincerely can't imagine what my life would be like without you.

    -New Girl

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  45. Velouria, Please disregard all my your and you're misspellings on my post. So excited about posting Haro's story that I didn't double check the spelling.

    I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts. I love people who love their bikes :)

    SM

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  46. I've enjoyed reading everyone's thank you notes as well : )

    Entries are eligible until midnight tonight US Eastern Standard Time!

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  47. Oscar,

    You know how much I appreciate you, and I’m certain that you appreciate me too. My friend left you in a pile of trash, ridiculed and bemoaned by his other friends. Despite their heckling, I saw through your oily and rusty exterior and took you home with me.

    After a few days of cleaning and less than $40 worth of replacement parts and upgrades, you were ready to ride. I wasn’t expecting much, as I had already written you off as a beater bike, but that first ride was absolutely thrilling! For the first time since I was kid, I had a bike that was actually *fun* to ride. We’d only meant to go around the block once, but we ended up across town. You were a $40 beater bike that immediately replaced my $800 Cannondale as my daily ride.

    And Oscar, besides rekindling my love of riding, you’ve done some other things for me; you rekindled my love of tinkering with mechanical things, you introduced me to the Raleigh brand, and you launched my hobby of collecting and restoring old steel-framed three speed bikes (even though you’re not steel-framed, or vintage, or a three speed, I can tell that you appreciate your old-world heritage).

    I removed your patina of neglect, tuned you up, and refurbished you, but you’ve done the same for me many times over. For your selflessness, I am forever thankful!

    Now, let’s ride!

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  48. Gregory,

    You're a faithful Schwinn Collegiate (Gregory is a founder of my alma mater). I thought my bike riding days were over when Ross got bike-napped (hope you're being treated well somewhere), but there you were at a bike co-op. You were so charming in my school colors and I knew it was meant to be. I was wary of your heavy steel frame, but I went over potholes with ease. I no longer cringe after going over bumps I can't avoid. Hope we'll be enjoying Christmas and winter together!

    http://picasaweb.google.com/ridonkulusblog/UntitledAlbum?authkey=Gv1sRgCO31od7U0-jQJQ#5544053201545628722

    http://picasaweb.google.com/ridonkulusblog/UntitledAlbum?authkey=Gv1sRgCO31od7U0-jQJQ#5544053201545628722

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  49. My dear friend and companion Rivendell Quickbeam,

    Thank you for riding through life with me.

    Every time I make the first pedal stroke down my drive I sense our solid connection. My back, arms, and legs feel totally in sync with you.

    You respond to my every need, zipping forward as I apply pressure, gently slowing as I apply the brakes to your rims. (I know you deserve better brakes; I promise to work on that next year.)

    I revel in the way we travel through traffic and commute together. You (and the Tubus) do such a fine job of hauling all my work clothing and necessities. I can even carry a pannier and ride no-handed. That's awesome! I know sometimes I carry too much stuff and that bothers you, but you never get too cranky with me.

    Your tires are the perfect width. We sail down well-trafficked D.C. roads without fear of cracks and small debris. On days when I feel like a getaway down the C&O Canal, you offer a smooth ride despite the hardpack and bumps.

    I love that you have one gear; we have an uncomplicated life together.

    Thank you, Quickbeam, for being so amazing. I know I never gave you another name, but Quickbeam fit you so well. I sometimes forget to share my feelings, but know that I always appreciate your steadiness, beauty, and simplicity.

    We were made to ride together, and I am grateful I found you.

    All my love,
    Gypsy Bug

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gersema/4924578457/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gersema/4915130294/

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  50. Dear Co-Motion Tandem,

    Thank you for being part of this family.

    I was thrilled when I found out you were going to be part of my life. A bike made especially for Felkerino and me? Fantastic! Remembering the day we brought you home still brings a smile and a sweet feeling up my backbone.

    Thank you for making Felkerino and me famous. I wasn't nearly so popular until I started riding tandem. Now, when Felkerino and I go out with you around the countryside, people often wave, say hello, or ooh and ahh as we go by. I know their reaction is not because of us. It's the magic of the tandem. It's you, baby, YOU. But because you cannot speak, we are the beneficiaries of your enticing aesthetic.

    Of all the bikes I've ridden, you are the one I/we 've put to the greatest test. You are the one we've turned to for most of our brevets and multi-day tours. Thanks for putting up with the extra tinkering, roof rack travel, and high expectations. And thanks for not getting ticked off during the occasional tandem team meeting. I'm sure you had an opinion, too.

    You've done well, little one.

    Love,
    Gypsy Bug

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gersema/4760827187/

    (@Lovely Bicycle: Thank you for inviting these posts. They are so fun to read as well as write...)

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  51. Thank you everyone once again; no more entries after this point please.

    The recipient will be announced on Sunday!

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  54. It's okay, I'll keep it.

    But no more after the 3am mark - I believe it is officially Saturday in all parts of the world now : )

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  55. I missed this by a day... but I have to say I do love my sweet 24" folding Dutch Union. I found her in a Dutch thrift store for 60 euros and squee'd thru the store while everyone looked at me funny.

    She has been a constant joy especially when we sit on the train together. Other commuters have tiny little Dahon's, but I have this massive Univow that proclaims loudly that a folder CAN be luxurious!

    -Rona
    http://ronajustine.blogspot.com

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  56. Thank you once again, everybody, for your notes and stories! The recipient has now been announced here.

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