|2014 T-shirt of a 1969 bicycle|
Mine had been sky blue. Also, mine did not have a rear derailleur. I think it was probably a J39-3 Deluxe Sting-ray, according to the catalog.
When I stare at the bucket saddle, the swoopy handlebars, that ill-placed stick shift, I am transported back to ramps made of boards and tires, neighborhood races around the pond, throwing the bike down on one friend's lawn not worrying about it being there when I came back. The memories are photo-sharp.
But I'm not looking at this as a nostalgia shirt. Instead, charged by the ecstatic recall of those ancient memories, as if glowing from this spackled purple print, fueled muscle memories of those frantic spins, I'm re-minded: you're wearing a purple shirt, dude, don't take it too seriously. Or rather, shed all these accreted scales of years and age and things by anchoring to the mind of a beginner riding that cool bike somewhere fated only by whim and fireflies. I rode mine through the sand blows of midwestern earthquakes. Beneath elms, after muskrats, and frogs. Down to a river sometimes.
Beginner's mind. Keep riding, kid, keep riding.