His name was Ross (yes, he was a he) and I first laid eyes on him when I was dog sitting for my Aunt Shirley, who lived next door to my Nana and Papa in Brant, N.Y.
Brant, N.Y. is one town over from North Collins, and it is where all my mother’s relatives live. Most of them live on Brant-North Collins Road, a winding, rural, two-lane stretch that cuts through Southeastern Erie County. It is also the same road I grew up on five miles north of my Nana, my Aunt Shirley, my Uncle Joe, my Aunt Helen and so on …
Save for high-speed traffic and the usual blind spots, Route 249 is a perfect road for cycling, and its paths through the towns of Farnham, Brant and North Collins have not changed since 1935.
Ross was the first bicycle I pedaled on Route 249 that didn’t have training wheels. He was a clunker of a 10-speed I spotted hanging upside down from ceiling rafters in Aunt Shirley’s basement. The only fetching thing about Ross was was that under the dust, he actually had a brand name. See here. And here.