Oh, I’m faint with cycle lust for the first time in my life. At last, at last I can replace the red beauty that Lou gave me for my birthday back when Honor was a toddler. I was working at the State Street Carsons at the time –AssistantManager, Junior Lingerie — and when I walked out onto Wabash Avenue to catch the El home I saw Lou pedaling down the sidewalk, a happy smirk on his handsome face, my daughter sitting on the handlebars, laughing, golden curls flying. Somehow he wedged it into the Ford Fiesta, we drove the eight minutes home, drank a couple of martinis and listened to Mahalia Jackson. I can never hear “In the Upper Room” without remembering that beautiful summer evening on the back porch at 1208 W, Lexington.
I rode that bike for years: to work in dress and heels, along the winding paths at Fermilab. under the oaks along the Prairie Path. It never failed me. Then someone stole it and I was plunged into decades of two-wheeled S&M. Or do I mean B&D?
Damn those racing bikes and mountain bikes with their gamut of gears, their painful invasive seats impossible to sit on. I called them weapons of ass destruction. Then there’s the bit that when my skinny butt was in the air I returned from a ride, not with ankles and legs burning but with my elbows and wrists hurting really bad. So this, along with my lifelong adoration of Liberty of London and a mention in the “Love That!” column in O magazine led me to the the cycle of my dreams.
It’s right there in the middle among other items in Target’s brilliant collaboration with Liberty of London. Apart from the to-die-for paisley paint job, just look at what it has (and doesn’t have.) Yes! to coaster brakes. Yes! to a seat a lady can sit on and look at the scenery, not her wrists and knees. Yes! to no gears — I live in Illinois, not Colorado. Yes! to wide handlebars on which I can attach a basket, a bell and a light.
I have fantasies about the basket overflowing with library books, wildflowers or wine. Imagining myself as a Dutch or Danish lady tooling about running errands, rosy-cheeked and fit. At 200 bucks, I can be allowed to think I can make this European life mine. Except I can’t. I went to the Target website today and they are sold frikken out. In fewer than ten days.
But I signed up for a notice when they’re in stock again. I will hold a yard sale, if necessary, to make up the financial gap. I’m helplessly in love.