A few years ago, I saw a cruiser bicycle crusted in yellow house paint chained to the fence of a consignment shop in Portland, marked as a new arrival. Usually I shop around and bite my nails over choices before making a purchase, this however was love at first sight. A few questions and $20 later, I had Lulu, a Western Flyer of undetermined age due to a marred serial number and other distinguishing features lost to time and hard living as a bicycle that had clearly passed through many hands.

It needed a lot of attention, it was missing parts including roughly half the ball bearings in the head-tube, as well as the usual rusted out nuts and screws. Flipped upside down on cardboard in my basement in a house in Portland, I began scrubbing and wrenching on Lulu, my first cruiser I adored. Once she was road worthy I spent hours in a co-op learning how to repair and maintain my vintage single speed cruiser.

She was heavy and complained if you didn’t keep up with weekly maintenance, but when I rode up and down the gentle hills of Portland, I was in love and lust. It felt just as good to plummet down a slope as it was to power through pedaling up a steep incline, feeling the burn deep in my thighs. My cruiser was a fine, if previously abused, piece of machinery that turned me on. Not only was riding my 40 pound steel bicycle around fun, it left me with thick thighs and bicycle butt I personally adore.

Unfortunately my days riding and caring for Lulu were cut to a  few short months when I had to make the decision between upkeep for my bicycle and myself, though I had the luxury of making sure Lulu went to a new owner who would appreciate and ride my favorite cruiser often. I still have a love for cruisers, purchasing one on occasion, and admiring others’ bicycles while out and about.

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