Wheels & Memories

It must have happened sometime during the second grade of high school, within a blink of a young girl's eye.

Bikes were no longer a cool way to move around the neighborhood, and females made sure to clear this out to the males of our age. The older boys were moving around with motorcycles or cars.

And that was it.
My beloved Skyway Streetbeat 1988 that had a multiplied (3x) price tag compared to the rest of the bikes in the shop, would be rotting in my back yard ever since...
Until one day my mother decided to relieve it from its misery and offered it to some neighboring children who had been gazing at it like a nude photo of Cindy Crawford. The boys moved away from the ‘hood after a while, I never saw the bike again. Ever.

It’s funny how times are flying on a closed circuit... Bicycling glory days are currently back for good. And for those of us who puke on the thought of indoor gyms and their trendy muscle-pumped clientele, riding a bike is both a great way to work out and stay in shape until the mountains call.
Unlike running, it’s something that we actually enjoy doing, too.

A couple of years back I stepped inside a bike shop and filled my nose with that alluring tire scent again. After a while I was back on two wheels, with 20 gears and 20 years more compared to the Skyway era. The rider might not be capable of doing the tricks of the past, but was still in perfect position to terrorize the tram passengers when flying off the ramp. A great Specialized bike recently allowed me to ride like a 12 year-old again and won a special place in my heart. Which made me remember of my second “love” (the first was a kids 16’’ BMX that is responsible for nearly every scar on the inside of my ankles): The Skyway.

Would the company still be making bikes today? Is my old bike model available somewhere?
It is. In every list with the most wanted iconic bikes of the 80s. “Collector’s item” they say. €3.000+ for a restored one.
If you can find it of course, because only a limited number of them were made until the company stopped producing frames.

That, I guess, must be the payback for leaning it to the fence that day and never looking back...

P.S.: A Hidden Cellar advice: If you consider buying a new bike, please don’t support kooks that smelled profit and “invested” in a fancy new bike shop. Supporting an old bicycle shop that had been struggling for nearly two decades, feels better instead. They know their stuff inside out, are friendlier when you walk in and don’t forget you when you step out. Since the old guy who had been fixing your flat tires back in the day is probably not around the corner anymore, check our personal bike store podium below and -unlike Mick Jagger- have your satisfaction guaranteed.

Some favorite shops:
http://www.kassimatiscycling.gr (Ippodameias Square 8, Pireus)
http://www.tsirikosbikes.gr (Perikleous 2, Neo Psychiko)
http://www.frederikbikes.gr (Alexandras Ave 15, Athens)

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