by Eleanor Brown
I don’t know why I stopped bicycling, but it’s been two years. I just did.
Perhaps it was the run of extremely bad luck in my personal life (some of it of my own making) that led to the sort of self-absorbed sadness that made it impossible to allow myself to have fun. Or the studied grouchiness I then adopted, designed to make me unapproachable, leaving me totally too growly to ride, thank you very much. Outta my way, jerkface pedestrian, or I’ll run you over. Asshole. My riding would have made life for others far too unpleasant.
Nah. It was more likely to be sheer laziness. That one sounds right.
Moving to a new home surrounded by huge intimidating hills? The replacement of a beloved old clunker that never really worked properly with some new-fangled two-wheeler that just never had the same personality…?
I dunno. I just didn’t feel like it.
Two years is a long time, and I was not doing any other exercise, either. Recently I started huffing and puffing when walking up flights of stairs. I was getting out of shape in very unpleasant ways. And so slowly, slowly, I started thinking about bicycles. Thinking some more, then a smidgeon extra. Remembering how much fun it is to zoom about on two wheels.
Suddenly, spring has arrived again. The green grass pushing up and the leaves unfurling and the flowers peeking out and the spring in my step.
Bit by bit over the last month I have gotten reacquainted with my bicycle. I’ve pulled it out of storage and found the perfect spot for it to rest, close enough to the door to easily scoot it out, but far enough that it’s not underfoot. Bought a brand spanking new bike lock. Put air in the tires and oiled up the chain. Shook the bicycle a few times to make sure everything was still screwed together — nope, nothing fell off (hey, I’m not a mechanic!). Started plotting possible routes, along bike lanes, through parks, calculating the path of least hilliness. And then the final step: I avoided buying a new monthly bus pass.
Now here I am. Awake at 5 a.m. the first Monday of the month, planning to get. My. Butt. In. The. Saddle.
Yeah, baby. Wind in my hair, legs pumping, lovely scenery, fresh air!!!
Wait. It’s freezing. And raining. Crap. No way.
Tuesday. Let’s try for Tuesday.
About Eleanor Brown: I’m a writer, Jim, not a mechanic.