I haven’t owned a bicycle for over ten years because over ten years ago I got into a slow-motion accident and have been too chicken to get back on the horse. My previous bike was an electric blue, 70’s-era Supercycle. It weighed a ton, and I think I got it at Salvation Army. I rode it for several years, straight off the floor…that is, I’d never had it tuned up and so the chain fell off repeatedly and the brakes only kind of worked.
My accident was very minor. I was riding down the big hill on University, and saw a car slowly pulling out of a laneway. Of course, University is a one way going up, so the driver of the car wasn’t expecting something coming down the hill. I could see the driver not checking, and I swear I was pulling my brakes full blast for like 100m and barely slowing down. So, of course, both of us going pretty slowly, collided: the car bumper hit my knee, tossing me and my shit ride into the middle of the street. Lame.
The driver felt understandably terrible, and I really had no one to blame but myself (or, well, my useless brakes), so she locked my bike to a nearby post, lumped me into her car and drove me literally half a block back up the hill to the hospital. That was really nice of her. My knee was fucked for about a month, and I actually had to use a cane for a little while. I have one little scar on my forearm that has nearly totally faded. But really I am sooooo lucky I didn’t hit my head because we didn’t wear helmets back then.
Fast forward however many years, the turn of the century, the turn of the millennium later, and here I am purchasing my own bike (Raleigh Stowaway 1981, 3-speed). This one is still a bit of a clunker, but this bike is rad, its clunkiness has purpose. It’s in great condition, and was lovingly fixed up by the gentleman I bought it from at RetroVintage. BUT the best part about my bike is that it FOLDS IN HALF. Stick that in your tour bus cargo bay and smoke it.
We’ve been talking (as a band) about staying active and healthy on tour, and how liberating a tour bike is. We are also bringing our juicer on our next tour. This is an idea I’m stealing straight up from Arcade Fire, who apparently have a juice tech on tour. That’s probably not true (like the “juice tech” probably does other things, not just juice) but it’s such an awesome rumor I don’t feel bad about propagating it.
Anyway, look for the grey haired, conservative goth riding a certified old man bicycle around your town, next time we’re on the road.