My bicycle’s been parked in a friend’s garage since the crash — two months ago. I’ve, uh, been dragging my feet. Frankly, the thought of riding a bike again is intimidating, but autumn is practically here. Time to suck it up and do it or spend the winter feeling like a wuss.
Gosh, depressing as that sounds, maybe waiting until spring is a good idea. The memories wouldn’t be as vivid or painful or terrifying and I’d have more confidence. There, see? I can rationalize a postponement. No need to rush into things when waiting is justifiable; cowering, however, is just plain embarrassing. So …
I watched the garage door do its slow climb into the rafters, rumbling and complaining every inch of the way. And there it stood, my poor old bike, dusty and bloody and forlorn, but otherwise fine. Not a scratch on it. Oh, the reflector had broken off and there was a deep gouge in the seat, but that’s all. No twisted frame, no buckled rims or crumpled handlebars. It was defiantly undamaged and I was gobsmacked.
My trusty, beloved old bike let me take the hit.
Sure, I’d sent the bike speeding and careening down a hill into a dangerously sharp turn, but that was no reason to use me as an airbag. Clearly, my bicycle wasn’t the team player I’d imagined, it was out to save its own skin. I stepped back and gave it the fisheye, wondering how I’d ever trust it again.
Eventually, the light blinked on: the bike was trustworthy, I’m the hinky one. Shame on me for trying to blame an inanimate object for my craziness. I apologized, sincerely, and told it to stop listening to me; I’ll only lead it down many merry paths of destruction. Of course, I have this conversation with my computer all the time, too, but it’s hard-wired for obedience. Bikes aren’t. They have a mind of their own.
Long story short, I braced myself and climbed back on. Heart in my throat, we wobbled into traffic and I pedaled us home. We arrived safe and sound, no close calls or near misses or anything. Now, if I can keep this streak going I’ll be one happy camper.
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