2016 was a milestone year for a couple of my bikes. Although I’ve no idea what month the frame was built, my venerable 1946 Hobbs of Barbican Superbe turned 70 this year. In August, my 1966 Paramount marked 50 years since its birth. I don’t find it weird at all to celebrate bike “birthdays,” especially when I can match a serial number to a date or date range. Thus, I made certain to get in a good long ride on my ’89 Paramount in late September to coincide with the time of the month that frame was finished up at Schwinn.

One of my favorite “speed” bikes is a ca. 1989 Freschi Supreme Super Cromo. The Freschi marque itself is a bit of a cypher, information on the web is largely cut and pasted repeatedly from the same source. Without definitive information by which to date this bike, I’ve relied entirely upon the “ca.” 1989 provided to me by the previous owner. To that end I’ve arbitrarily settled upon a birthdate of Thanksgiving, a holiday that falls on a different day each year. It seemed like an appropriate gesture, and for the past several years my tradition has been to take my chrome baby out onto the road for a fifteen or twenty mile ride.

And so it was today. This morning I bundled up in layers, and the Freschi and I headed out into the 38 degree gloom. The trees are nearly barren already, but the days are still warming up most afternoons. Hell, I even still have roses budding, so it’s really weird to find myself huffing and puffing down the road, my breath visible in the morning light.

Happy birthday, Freschi.

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