|Erba Cycles of Boston|
The last great bicycle I owned was an orange ten-speed Peugeot that my parents got me for my thirteenth birthday. I felt very sophisticated riding a French bicycle (actually, I'm not sure it was really made in France). That bike had style and I'm ashamed to admit that I flaunted it, which is not my style. Other kids admired it and I enjoyed telling them that it was a Peugeot. You know, a Peugeot, I'd say. Peugeot makes cars in France, you know (maybe they did know). It's a wonder that I had any friends at the time.
When I went to college, the bike sat unused in the shed until my mother gave it to Jeffrey, one of the younger neighborhood kids. My mouth fell open with surprise when she told me. What? That bike is too big for Jeffrey, I protested. It's not his kind of bike. I got over it though, knowing that the bike would be well used, if not well cared for. The orange Peugeot would often be parked in front of Jeffrey's house, unattended and ripe for the picking by a thief with a penchant for European (perhaps) bicycles. I considered having a talk with Jeffrey about responsibility, but didn't.
That was 27 years ago and I hadn't thought of the Peugeot until I saw the Erba bike. Made of bamboo, it has the mellow glow of a fine antique and the zest appeal of a racy sports car. And look at that basket. Can't you imagine peddling home from the farmers market on a warm summer day, the wind in your hair, not a car around for miles, no iPhone, no Blackberry, just the basket loaded with ripe blackberries and freshly baked bread? I certainly can.