Sunday, January 20, 2013

First family bike ride of the year

Smiles and fun wrapped in pink.
The weather today was simply terrific. Sure, I know that in this geographic setting we really shouldn't have a 65 degree F day in mid January, and I know it is likely indicative of much larger macro-scale problems, but it is certainly nice on the micro scale. So, we did something with what we were given.

It turned out to be the first family bike ride of the year. Preceding the ride itself, Lil Sis had her first experience sitting on the back of the Big Dummy. At first I just wanted to see if she was big enough to sit in the seat, so I plopped her down and fastened the seatbelt. She immediately started making appreciative noises and grabbed the handlebar. The girl is a natural bike rider!

Big sister hopped on the back to give some pointers, and I wheeled them both around the back yard. Though Lil Sis is not yet big enough to really ride on the Dummy, she's well accustomed to the trailer. I can already sense that this is going to be a big bike riding year for us all.
Snacking en route, comme d'habitude. 
Ever-ready co-pilot with me up front.
It's not really possible to get us all in one shot using the camera phone. Julie brings up the rear.
Post ride, the girls tested the accommodations in the wagon.
In other news, as happens around here from time to time, another bike has joined the fold. Not inordinately surprising, I'm sure. Those of you who happen to be vintage mountain bike junkies may be able to discern some info from the following photos, but specific details will have to wait for an upcoming post. In short, the nearly pristine blue Miyata seen below represents something of a white whale for me.
Okay, it's a 1984 Miyata Ridge Runner.
If you were to think the tire seen here is a Miyata branded stock original that's been on this bike for the past 29 years, you'd be right. 


  1. That tire is a thing of beauty.

    1. That tire might have been enough alone for me to buy the bike. It's a fat-for-its-era 26 x 2.125" with nice and chunky brick spaced blocks running all the way to the sidewalls, all wrapped into a rounded profile. In my mind, a perfect off road tire.

      I'm really in a quandary about it though. It's in good shape, considering its age, but it does have cracking on the tread and the sidewalls are pretty dry, though not yet crumbling. I've ridden a few miles on it, but have no plans to put it through heavy use. So, if I take the tire off for preservation, it may be destroyed in the process. If I leave it on, it will limit what I can do with the bike. Obviously, there is no possibility of replacement, and few if any tires that resemble this design.

      Oh, the problems I must endure...

  2. If that is a large framed Miyata Ridgerunner, I promise it's got my name on it. I've been coveting that bike for years, but they are considerably more rare than similar bikes from Specialized, Schwinn, and Univega. I love the simple utilitarian construction, and the 68 (-ish) degree angles.

    If it's a big frame, I'm offering money for it. Really. But since I don't really need it you can just post some nice pictures of it for me. Please keep my name on it.

    1. Good eye, Nicholas. You're telling me these things are hard to find! Don't I know it. I've been looking for a good one in my size since shortly after I foolishly sold my previous Miyata back in '89. My long lost Miyata has haunted me for decades, even though I'm the poster boy for someone who doesn't need another bike. This bike is indeed a 23"; the biggest they made. I happened upon it within minutes of it being listed and made no delay in going to take a look, cash in hand.

      With your knowledge and appreciation for these old bikes, you can't truly be as young as you are. A homesick time traveler from the early '80s, perhaps? With all the miles you put on your High Sierra and how your gaze is caught by old mountain bikes, it makes sense that of anyone that I know, you would have accurately assessed this bike. Incidentally, I recall catching a look of knowing approbation on your face of a blue and yellow Nishiki Colorado on the Highline Canal Trail when you were here, a bike that no one else would have given a second glance. You are an aficionado to the core.

      After years of searching, I'm not quite ready to give this Ridge Runner up for any amount of money just yet, but consider yourself as the successor to this bike in my will. It has your name on it. Rest assured, many pictures are to come.

      In the mean time, if a 21" will do for you, there's a first year '83 Ridge Runner mismarked as an '84 for sale in Fort Collins. The original parts, including the cool fore-aft adjustable seatpost look to be intact:

  3. If it doesn't work for you and Nick can't come up with the money I have family in Denver and they could be there on my behalf, with cash, in < 2hrs.
    23" sounds perfect.

    Just saying.

    1. I'm going to have to create a line of succession for this thing. I was pretty excited about my find, but I had no idea it would stir the interest of anyone else.

      Maybe I can stoke a bidding war to fund a vacation to Mexico.