When I returned to Tallahassee in 1998 from adventures outside of Leon County I had a thick wad of bills in my pocket, secured with a rubber band taken from a bunch of broccoli. There were more twenties than hundreds.
I needed a bike, just something to get around.
Joe set me up with a 1989 Red Dakar, a ride far more sweet than I could have hoped for given the circumstances. The red bike got me back into the woods and it got me to my job at the Tallahassee Rock Gym. (This job was also an act of charity on behalf of a friend.)
As I gained traction and earned my way back to townie status I upgraded to new bikes along the way. The red bike logged some years in cold storage. The XT thumb shifters, the SunTour XC derailleur, American Classic hubs- the red bike became a museum piece.
Now it is back in service of a new owner- another young man in need of a ride, a way to get to work, a shot at freedom and success. For him the red bike is a solution to a problem, an unexpected surprise.
For me, the red bike is a shot at redemption, an unexpected surprise.