Sarah and her 1987 Bianchi road bike.

Rides a 1987 Bianchi road bike.
Shot on Ortega Street in Santa Barbara, CA.
Shopping for rompers. (Yeah, you read it right)

Bicycling is exercise. “Exercise creates endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” I don’t often paraphrase Elle Woods, but she had a point: people who exercise are usually happier than your average couch potato. Sometimes we get super growly people coming into the shop. But most of them are either just in a hurry or they just witnessed a homeless guy take a dump in the planter just outside. Most of the people that are on their bikes consistently who come in for service or whatever are generally happy. Sarah is no exception. She blew me away with her confidence and awesome attitude. She was riding a very well-preserved and cared-for Bianchi from when I was like a junior in high school. She was emitting the type of awesomeness that makes you think she would mash this thing down Anacapa at top speed during rush hour. What else do I have to say? She’s legit. So’s the bike.

Usually you only see bikes like this in images on the Google Image Search…or eBay (for lots of cabbage)…or on some random forum somewhere. This bike certainly wasn’t top of the line back in ’87, but it sure was representative of its time. These bikes were heavy, durable and faster than your average mountain bike. Most of my peers opted for a Specialized Stumpjumper or a Cannondale SM. But I was in love with thin steel tubes, down tube shifters and drop bars.

I am going to sound old now. Prepare yourself.

<rant> I know that I am in the business of selling new bikes. But sometimes it surprises me how all these young kids end up with these incredible steel bikes. Most of them, Sarah included, have no idea they are riding something that induces a sense of nostalgia in others. These machines, even the lower end ones that weren’t made from Tange/Reynolds/Columbus steel were extremely liberating. If they could only get on whatever P2P file sharing mess they are entertaining themselves with and download Breaking Away, they would know what I was talking about. Sometimes I just want to grab these kids by the pancreas and shake them and scream: “Take care of this bike!”</rant>

Honestly, you never know who may have rode it before you. That is all.

5 thoughts on “Sarah

  1. those kids are freer for not knowing what they ride, they’ll make their value judgement on their experience with the bike alone.
    And a good bike is good enough to not need any emotional help.

    you are right though, and it’s strange how fashions change,cyclically.
    (& a great thing recent trends are born of practicality)

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