It probably started back in April. The e-mailed photos of “THE” bike. The “I’ve got a birthday coming up, you know?” You see, birthdays in the McAleavey, Jr. household achieve greatness that most reserve for, say, Christmas. There have been years during our marriage that Marc and I have exchanged only greeting cards for the holidays, but birthdays are not taken lightly. So when the e-mail came in, I didn’t think twice about whether or not I should grant Marc his one, true birthday wish…a shiny, new, bright kelly-green, Schwinn Deluxe 7 Cruiser. The Cadillac of bicycles.
It is, indeed, an impressive piece of equipment. From the nearly oversized white-wall tires to the extra-springy, handstitched saddle seat emblazoned with the Schwinn-script “S,” the Deluxe 7 is definitely not a bike for the speedy set. This is a bike made first and foremost for comfort, style, and of course, shameless fun. This is a bike that gets you a few looks and guarantees to separate those folks who “get it” and those who just don’t.
Kermit, as the bike came to be named, proved to come with its own predicament, though. It needed a mate. So in August, for our fourth wedding anniversary, Marc surprised me with the most beautiful bicycle a girl could own. She’s bubble-gum pink with white-walls and a pink & white suede leather seat. She has coaster brakes and a pink bell that makes the best little “ting-a-ling” noises. I named her Vivian.
We took only a few rides before Kermit and Vivian took up a semi-permanent home in our living room. My rheumatoid arthritis started to flare, and making it up and down the stairs was hard enough. Bike riding seemed to be out with a knee the size of a grapefruit. But things started to turn around, and I finally felt like taking the ol’ girl for a spin.
We headed out into the beautiful afternoon and made our way to the St. Joan of Arc “French Market.” From there, we rode to Butler and spent time taking photos in Holcomb Gardens. It was one of those days that you don’t forget. And it’s nice to announce that Vivian and Kermit ride again.