Goodbye, Big Red

My bike was stolen this weekend.
I moved to Minneapolis in August 2005, eager to adopt a more urban lifestyle involving less driving.  That same month I purchased Big Red, a Trek 800 mountain bike for around $200 from a bike shop.  I knew it was the bike for me as soon as I saw it.  I owned a nearly identical bicycle growing up in Elko, NV.  I hadn’t really ridden a bicycle since 1997, the year I turned 16.  

Big Red taught me how to ride again.  He gave me bruises, I gave him a rear cargo rack.  We took a few spills together, ripped a few pairs of jeans together, and trudged through all sorts of weather together.  We even got hit by a car together.  Like any good friend, Big Red protected me from the impact and came away with the worst injuries.  Like any good friend, I nursed him back to health.
Big Red taught me that it was possible to commute to work on a bike.  He was there the first time I tried to ride the 10 miles from my apartment on Como Avenue to my internship in Golden Valley.
As I became a more experienced rider, I began to collect additional bicycles better suited to general street riding, but Big Red was always the bike to get me through the winter.  Big Red wasn’t afraid of anything.  He earned himself the title “Ultimate Commuter Vehicle (UCV)” because he was unstoppable, able to make the commute regardless of weather or temperature.
He was stolen from my garage sometime while I was away for Thanksgiving.  The garage door was locked, but I guess we neglected to make sure it was fully latched, so the wind probably blew it open, leaving everything in the garage vulnerable.
I’m sorry, Red.  I’m sorry.
I won’t forget Red, or the things he taught me.  I don’t mind that someone else is riding him.  I wish they had asked me first, but I hope they learn as much about life as I did from Red.  I hope they get the same joy I did from feeling the fresh air in their lungs as they ride.  And I hope they treat him well.
Goodbye, Red.

2 comments to Goodbye, Big Red

  • That's a real bummer 🙁 I just don't understand why people feel the need to take from others leaving them with nothing. Good luck in your search for a new bike and congrats on the new TV too 🙂

  • Thanks, Bill. I've enjoyed reading your blog lately (I just recently found it).

    It is so frustrating when someone steals, and it gives Powderhorn a bad name. I've got a garage full of bicycles. If someone really wanted/needed a bicycle, I'm sure we could have worked something out….