Hingham through the spokes

If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.

It was love at first sight when I met Old Yeller’, which I affectionately named my Cannondale, at Bike Barn in Whitman, MA (which I don’t believe is still in business). I bought her after pulling in money all summer painting fences and cleaning my dad’s bar every morning. I was so excited and proud to have bought my first road bike, and I couldn’t wait to take it on the New York to Boston AIDS Ride, which I was scheduled to do a couple of months later.

As it turns out, the bike ride from Bear Mountain, New York to Boston wasn’t the biggest test Old Yeller’ would face that year. Before my friends and I had pulled out of the driveway to head to Bear Mountain, Old Yeller’ and a couple bicycle friends were seriously injured by a giant oak tree, which was shielded by the driver’s blind spot.  Three bikes were on a rear-mounted bike rack and Old Yeller’ was the last to board…but unfortunately, the first to greet the tree. Less than a month old, my yellow aluminum beauty didn’t have a scratch on it until then. So we got segued in Rhode Island and headed straight to a bike infirmary for some much needed intensive care. Old Yeller’ got two new wheels and some other minor adjustments, and the rest of the bikes were checked out and repaired…and alas, we were off to New York.

I am not sure exactly the time frame of that accident, but I would guess it was at least 15 years ago. Since then, Old Yeller’ has journeyed through many states for lots of different causes, and has never failed me. She has provided me comfort and familiarity, as my home away from home during work trips to Vermont and West Virginia where she brought me much needed mountain solace and incredible exercise. She has been my traveling companion, helping me to navigate my way through unknown streets while on vacation. She has earned me some dough and helped keep me safe when I dodged more than one crazy cab driver while working as a NYC bike messenger.  Most of all, she has been a constant therapeutic companion when I needed to thrash out some frustration or calmly cruise down a country road.

Old yellow checking out the Boston skyline

I would love to upgrade to a titanium Cannondale one day, but like my incredibly loving and loyal dog Hope (who is my “first” dog), there will never be another “first” like Old Yeller.’

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If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.


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