Love letter to a bicycle
Thank you for being there at that critical moment
when I was poised at the edge of the nest.
Rather than reaching for a set of car keys, I rolled YOU out the door and into the world. You were a cheap thrill for this young lady balking at the verge of adulthood.
20/20 hindsight justifies everything, and reveals some impressive accounting.
I saved at least $50,000 over the span of a twenty years (16 yrs old til 36) if you pile together the cost of a car, its insurance, fees, and fuel.
Wait…more like $150, 000 factoring in the health bennies and averted disease from simply choosing the bike.
Oh, damn, I forgot! Make that half a million, thanks to the shrink visits I didn’t need.
Never mind the cosmetics that I forgot to buy, the nonexistent dry-cleaning bills, the glaringly apparent immaturity (=youthfulness) that cycling seems to confer…
Here’s another truth–I banked every hour of time (not working for a car company or Big Oil) and got to spend it as I pleased. In your twenties and thirties, this
can be quite…how to put it? Subversive.
The taxes I didn’t need to pay. The wars I didn’t fund. By not being stuck in a wage slave job, I could think independently, foolish and lost though I am…
You, my love, were and are the ideal tool to transform sorrow into forward movement, if only a few feet at a time.
You demo’d that emotional flywheel trick—the one where you took my blues into the pedals, sent them around and converted them into glee, which pushed up through my feet, poured into my legs, and back into my shattered heart.
You delivered me to the moment, to the center of Now.
Addendum: Dear Reader/riders…I have a car. My husband does, too. We are faintly hypocritical biker types…we don’t USE them much, but yes we have them, and I would never title a story “Rebel w/o a car” because starting at about 35 I had a car…and it’s been there, reminding me that I’ve not gotten all the way to pedal perfection cuz I’m chicken hearted about ‘getting somewhere’ with out careful planning/ride-begging, etc.
After 4,200 miles on a bike (supported, true enough) you’d thnk I could just blow off that darn Bluebaru. But no.
I want to thank my most careful, and thoughtful readers for their input. It is important.