Rob builds custom bicycles with his son Ray and friend Steve as a hobby. I’ve mentioned this a few times before. He’s still tinkering with Ray’s bike (the Black Lightning) and doesn’t even have a bike to ride himself, but this is what he’s spent the last several months doing:That right there is a work of art 🙂 See, I can’t ride an upright bike. I weigh 285 lbs. I also haven’t been on a bike since I was 17 years old. I tried to ride an upright my dad gave me a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t even make it down the driveway, I was too scared. TERRIFIED. They say you never forget how to ride a bike. Well…. I’ve either forgotten or gotten too old and chicken to do it.
Keep in mind, this trike isn’t finished – not by a long shot. But it was difficult for him to continue building it without fitting it to me. You see, this is the generic bike with no adjustments made for my height, body type or riding style. Everything on this bike is adjustable at this point. So when I visited earlier this month, he surprised me with this, and then had me sit on it so he could tailor it to me.
I don’t know if it’s immediately obvious how awesome this is. He wanted to go for bike rides with me and the kids, recognized my limitations, and rather than give up, he saw it as a challenge to be overcome, and he overcame it with ingenuity and creativity! He always says he’s not a creative person. Just look at this thing.
The big open area at the back of the frame (behind the seat) will eventually become a cargo box. The seat is designed to be precisely the same height and width as the driver’s seat in my car (which is higher than a standard seat). The seat back is offset and separate from the seat bottom to account for my ass 😉 I mean, he went to some trouble here. The front tire is a heavy-duty tire that’s basically one step down from a motorcycle tire and the frame? Well, he and I could jump up and down on this frame all day long and not bend it.
The handlebars will be lengthened (under the seat! WOOT!), the seat will be re-positioned and adjusted according to the measurements he took while I was there. The rear wheels will be replaced with heavy-duty ones like the front wheel, and the whole thing will be smoothed out and painted at some point.
I had no idea he was building this. Honestly, I really didn’t! I knew he was planning to build me one eventually, but to put all his other projects aside just so he could take the kids and I for a bike ride, and provide me with a trike of my own to ride so I can exercise more? I’ve often told my friends that I win because my guy doesn’t judge my crafting supplies or complain that there’s too much yarn in my house (there is, I’ll admit it). And I really don’t care if he gives or buys me STUFF. It’s not the bike itself that I feel touched over. It’s the fact that he was kind, considerate and generous enough to give of his time, his expertise and his heart to build me this. (Steve, Ray, I do think the trike is awesome though, and thank you both for building it with him!)