Douglas is my bike. I would call him my most prized possession, except he’s so much more than that, so the title continues to belong to my dad’s record collection.
Legend has it that my mom bought Douglas in 1970 and rode him casually around North York before my parents moved to Whitby and he was retired to the shed in the backyard. He stayed there until late March of 2010, when I dug him out. Quite literally, I had to dig the earth away: the ground had risen and froze around the shed door. I had to work for the $121 I would save by not buying an April metropass.
A lot of work has gone into making Douglas the easy-rider he is today. Places that have given me excellent Douglas-related service:
- Urbane Cyclist: great for when your derailleur falls off at Queen and Jarvis, or when you get hit by car-driving, pink-shirt-wearing yuppies while merging lanes on Richmond.
- CORE BMX and Boards: incredibly helpful whenever I blow a tire in the east end. Also great if you like hanging out with 13 year old boys because, with the exception of the guy who changes my tires, the staff seem to have only recently hit puberty.
- Bike Sauce: perfect for those streetcar track-related wipeouts in front of Jilly’s. I owe my front wheel to a guy named Toby who generously picked me up off the ground and tried to teach me how to fix my bike after I face-planted at Broadview and Queen. Normally, I would have loved the lesson in bike mechanics, however I think I probably came off as ungracious due to my throbbing body and obstructed breathing.
Sometimes, when I’m talking about Douglas with friends, I wonder what the people around me think I’m talking about. Pet? Brother? Boyfriend? They’re all wrong. Although, Douglas has been called my abusive boyfriend on numerous occasions, on account of the mad bruising. While I shamefacedly admit that making jokes about domestic abuse is not funny at all, the state of my legs in the summer months is quite laughable. It’s what happens when you’re clumsy, bruise easily, and have a high tolerance for pain and thus move with reckless abandon.
If Douglas was a person he’d be a dude with a handlebar moustache and his stache would be rust coloured, like my actual handlebars.
Douglas is a real looker, so people love him. He gets compliments from strangers all the time. Sometimes, people even throw money at him. One Friday night, I went to retrieve him after dinner only to find a generous fan had scattered a cool $70 at his feet. We put it to good use.
So far, Douglas hasn’t been stolen, which I think is pretty rad. However, while I would be devastated if he were ever taken away from me, I couldn’t hold it against the thief. I mean, really, who wouldn’t steal Douglas? He’s such a stud.