The Things That Fit

Yesterday I stumbled upon a 1984 Fuji Touring Series iv on Craigslist. It was about 50-52cm, not sure which. My girlfriend had been looking for a bike for some time and this one fit her, it was a touring bike, and it cost less than $200, which is a great deal if you want a touring bike. We took it to a shop after we got it and they said it was in good condition besides some cosmetic stuff. So, win for us. Cool. But there are a couple issues with the fit. Mainly, the down stem of the seat can’t lower all the way to the top/down tube, which I’ve never seen before. The reason is that the down stem hits a little nubbin in the down tube that is made for a screw to fit into for a water bottle holder. At first I thought that would be an easy fix, all we needed to do was switch the down stem with a shorter one and then she could lower the seat. The problem with this is, the seat would then be lower than the handle bars, so at this point I’m wondering if the handlebars need to be lowered as well, which is a lot of work.

We bought her a brooks saddle and some drop down handlebars to go along with it as someone had put flat bars on it. We’re going to have the breaks converted to the drop down style, which will be good, but I’m still worried about the seat situation. I’ve just never seen a bike in which the down stem doesn’t go all the way down to the frame.

Maybe that’s because I haven’t owned enough bikes. I know my way around my own, but I’m no expert.

Now, touring bikes are all about comfort and carrying weight for long distances. Right now she isn’t going to use the bike for that. She just needs something comfy to get around on. But I’d love to take her on a tour sometime in the years to come and the fact that the seat and handlebars are likely an issue isn’t a good sign. I’m looking at the bike right now and trying to figure out how we can get it to fit her better. The frame, I think is pretty perfect for her, as she sits well on it. But nothing fits anyone perfectly.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: sometimes things that feel right, aren’t always the best fit once you get to know them.



When he was young, which was a long time ago, the girls under the bridge would snicker and whisper to each other while he was on the swings. When he was on the swings the other boys were out in the field playing football or soccer or at the hoops playing basket ball. He’d played with the boys once or twice but, really, he wasn’t any good so then he’d stopped.

The girls didn’t play games but–or at least not the kings boys played–so he thought maybe that was where he fit in. The games they played didn’t have any names, but if they had he thought they would have been Guess what he’s thinking, and What if. . . At first the girls seemed pleased he wanted to answer the questions because most of what they talked about–these games that had no names–were about boys.

“Like, so, when you ride a bike, like, where does,” Brandy Miller grew furiously red and all the other girls began to giggle because they had all discussed this in depth so many times before they knew what came next. “You know,” said Brandy in a whisper. “Where does your thingy go.”

When he’d told them it just wasn’t an issue they’d all looked a little put out. He realized they wanted him to talk about thingys in a knowing way. A way that would give them a visual of what it might be like to have something hanging down in front of their crotches.

He asked them about not having boobs. Why did some of the 8th grade girls have them but the sixth grade girls–except for Whitney–didn’t? They’d all glared at him as though he’d said something horribly offensive. They walked away continuing to glance back and glare. He thought it had been a fair trade when it came to question swap which he called the game when the girls asked him questions about boys.

The next day they didn’t stand under the bridge because it was raining and the water seeped through the cracks and dripped down. Instead they stood under the eaves of the school, leaning against the brick wall. From what he’d seen of movies he thought the girls should have had cigarettes if they’d wanted to look cool. But he also doubted anyone spoked when they were just in sixth grade, so it wasn’t surprising that they didn’t.

They motioned him over and he came, hopping off the swing and slouching over to them, his hair wet from the rain, his butt wet from the water that had been on the swing. They were playing a game with a name finally. It was a game the boys played also. Or a game he’d played with the boys a long time before–when Tommy Scruggs had invited him to his birthday party. The game was called Truth or Dare, which was silly because nobody ever chose dare. Nobody wanted to have to do something stupid in front of everyone else.

“Brian–truth or dare?” asked Brandy Miller. She was always the one to talk to him.

“Why’s it my turn?”

“Because it’s your turn.”

“I just got here.”

“That’s why it’s your turn”