Because it’s not, it’s a carrot. A big, fat, three-speed carrot dangling from a short stick. First, it’s going to lead me into temptation, then wildly and painfully astray.
I know this just as surely as I know it’s futile to resist the siren call; I will succumb. You see, I love bikes. I love their design, I love the freedom and openness and the tick of the gears when I coast. I love the sun on my shoulders and leaning into turns and the feeling of power and exhilaration and speed.
You know what I don’t like? Biking shorts, they’re too shiny. And pedal clips, things I call toe traps. Neither do I like the one-legged stuff: the getting on and off, the stopping and starting, that’s where the trouble starts. Not with the riding, but with the one-legged stuff. Count on it.
I mean, I can’t even put on a pair of pants without clutching a wall. Or climb the stairs sans railing. What do I think will happen when I try to maneuver myself onto a bike? I’ll defy gravity? Levitate? Hover like a traffic helicopter? No, sir.
What I will do, of course, is crash to the ground with the dainty grace of space junk. Someone will see me fall, run to my aid, ask if I’m okay, and yadda yadda yadda. It’s practically a rite of spring, this ushering in of a new bike season. The first crash. Granted, I meet a lot of nice people this way, but still.
Why do I keep doing this, year after year? It hurts. And I know exactly how it will turn out, but I do it, anyway. Eagerly and with great anticipation, because I’m addicted to the rush. I get jazzed by the sounds and the jangle and the rhythms.
All winter long, I’m hermetically sealed away — safely stored in blister pack. By now, my senses are deprived, my hearing is muffled, and I’m dulled stoopid by climate-controlled comfort. Let me out! No matter what the price, just let me out in the fresh air and hubbub. I’ll fall down, get up with a limp, and all will be right with the world.
Now, shall we proceed?
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