What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

– the Fuji Steed, part two

on April 10, 2015


Jessica has a new bike!

Actually, it’s an old bike … 37 years old, which is older than Jessica … “vintage,” if you like the term. But it’s new to her, so it counts. And this is the story of Jessica’s new bike.

Jessica used to have a bike, one her uncle gave her. She loved it, not least because it was tall. Jessica is tall, too, and most bikes make her feel a bit like a string about to be tied into a knot. Not her tall Fuji, though. She rode it fearlessly till it suffered an accident that left it looking like a pretzel. (I’m not sure what Jessica resembled, but she looks okay today. Bodies have some advantages over bike frames.)

One day Jessica told her minister (whom she knew was an avid cyclist) about her late, lamented Fuji. She had no idea what an anticipation of satisfaction that set off in him. He had a quite tall Fuji himself, which he loved. But he wasn’t riding it, and felt badly it wasn’t getting used.

For many years his “Fuji Steed” had been his only bicycle. Then he got a racing bike. He kept the Fuji, though, to ride to the store or on days when he didn’t want to bother with putting on cycling shoes. (Which are uncomfortable and look silly until they snap into the pedals that are their sole-mates.) All was well until he built up another frame into a commuter-and-touring bike. Then his purpose for the Fuji was lost … gathering dust in the garage doesn’t count as a use. In a crazy but harmless foible, revdarkwater is convinced that bicycles speak to him. (His wife Nimue might reserve a judgment about the harm or not, however, whenever he brings another stray home.) He felt the Fuji’s sadness personally.

“I’ll offer the Fuji to Jessica!” revdarkwater thought. “But I want to fix it up right before I do.” The Fuji is thoroughly old-school; it has loose bearings in the hubs, headset, and bottom bracket, and they needed to be cleaned and re-packed with fresh grease. The finish had suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (well, it had had some bad luck, anyway). Finally, he had a horror of entrusting his friend Jessica to ancient brake cables. In short—tearing the Fuji down and building it back up took awhile.

on the road again: 1978 Fuji Gran Tourer

on the road again: 1978 Fuji Gran Tourer

But this week it was ready. Last night he took it to Jessica and Dean’s. She’s a little intimidated by the gears, but delighted to have a bicycle again. Dean took it for a quick spin up and down the hill in front of their house and made the Fuji look like a thoroughbred. revdarkwater drove home feeling happier than he’s felt in weeks. He’d heard the Fuji Steed say, “She’s beautiful, I love her! I’ll give her good miles. Thank you, old friend!”

And they all cycled happily ever after.

shedding style: give away
destination: Jessica & Dean’s present and future

Comments welcome … does something that is yours, even something beloved, actually belong to someone else?


5 responses to “– the Fuji Steed, part two

  1. Marilyn says:

    Applause, Applause, This made my day. The Fuji will be loved and enjoyed.

  2. I love a story with a happy ending!

  3. Mom says:

    How sweet, my dear!

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