I rolled out of bed a little before five this morning. This is the time of year when the days are longest and light comes pouring through the windows quite early. In fact, the sun had yet to crest the horizon, but there was illumination aplenty as I padded through the house.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t ridden in a pair of cleated shoes for quite a while, which, in turn, got me thinking about how neglectful I’ve been of my 1966 Schwinn Paramount P-13 this spring. Donning my oldest pair of riding shoes, gloves, and a worn out cycling cap, I pulled her down from the ceiling and topped off the tire pressure.
With nary a pump, extra tube, or patch kit; no water bottle (or, for that matter bottle cage), no computer or GPS, I pedaled down the road through older neighborhoods and cemetaries, and through the town square, simply turning wherever it felt best, with no concern about destination or workout or speed.
I rambled around aimlessly and worried only briefly about climbing hills using the tall gears this bike sports. Just glancing over the numbers, I reckon that with a 52/49 chain ring combination there’s really not much of a bailout available. But the numbers seldom tell the entire tale: Despite those formidable racing gears, I’m always just a little awed by how well this bike handles such things as the 12% grade on the return home. Richard Schwinn, if you’re out there, your family really did a terrific job with the Paramount line.
My morning ramble really ended much too soon, so perhaps I’ll sneak off for an afternoon ride today as well.
And after all, the Paramount hasn’t been rehung yet.