My bicycle obsession can be traced back to my childhood. When I was in 4th grade I found myself in desperate need of a new bike. My parents, having just been through one of the hardest periods of their lives and needing to feed and clothe a family of 4, couldn't afford such frivolous items. Instead they found an old secondhand bike for me. And when I say old, I don't mean a couple of years old, I mean a couple of decades old. While I was thrilled to have wheels, and the freedom that came with them, I was horrified at this antique hunk of steel that I was forced to ride while all of my friends had shiny new bikes or if not new, at least they had been manufactured sometime after their birth. This being a time before I had come to appreciate the value of vintage, that bike felt like a burden. I'm not sure if I ever complained to my parents about that bike. I hope not. I hope I had the good sense to realize that they had done the best they could. I hope I didn't make them feel bad for something they couldn't help. My first bike, was a lesson in independence, humility and embarrassment and while I dreamed of having different and better I certainly never felt entitled to have different or better. Honestly, I was thankful to have anything at all.