I decided to get a more practical bike, a simple old black 3-speed roadster. I went to a flea market where I'd seen them, but there were none. The bikes there that day were Schwinn Cruisers. Tigers, Typhoons, Americans and some Krates. Flashy and cool. One stood out. Huge and heavy with big fat tires, heavy-duty spokes, a drum brake like a tin can on the back wheel. It had derailleur with five gears. Black and the battleship gray of primer. The test ride was regal, smooth, and comfortable with a lot of weight behind it. Who every owned this bike must have loved it. They rode it 'til almost everything on it was just about worn out. The Klunker 5 was my main bike for the next few years.
I don't know why my cruiser appeals to me so deeply. When it was my main ride I was happy to customize it constantly and work hard to keep it running smooth. Each time I came back to it, locked where it had been left. The sight of it stopped me in my tracks. An awesome, beautiful thing.