This is me on my old bike. I had just gotten it, as a hand-me-down, and I think the love and appreciation shows.
I had decided I wanted a bicycle. But as I can be a bit, um, frugal, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay a honking lot of money. It was one of those times when the universe was listening: right after deciding, a friend told me she had gotten a new bike and I could have her old one. Hallelujah!
The first thing I did was pump up the tires. Then I took the old gal to a local bike shop, where they put on a new chain, front & rear baskets and a new seat. Pink – thank-you-very-much. I added the handlebar streamers & Elvis horn and got myself a lock. I was thrilled.
I started riding her as much as I could. For exercise. Errands. Fun. After a short while, someone told me I should really be riding with a helmet. I listened and found myself a shiny, pink topper for safety.
Why all the bicycle chatter? Because I’ve just said goodbye to my old bike. Mister insisted I get a new one. And this new gal is alright. Her brakes work perfectly. She’s just the right size for my frame. She’s lightweight. She’s, well, new.
My old bike was too big for me. The brakes required some finesse, and plenty of notice. She weighed a ton. It was a lot of work – riding that bike – as the brakes permanently rubbed against the wheels, creating friction and drag. A trip to the grocery store was an amazing workout, especially after the baskets were loaded. (And don’t even ask how hard it was to pedal home after loading the baskets with wine.) The truth is, riding my old bike wasn’t what you’d call easy.
But it sure was fun. And I put more miles on that thing than I can count. She was there for me when my car wasn’t. She was there for me when I didn’t want to pay for gas. Basically, she was there for me. And I’ll not forget that.
I took the baskets and the Elvis horn. They’ll be on my new bike. It isn’t quite the same, and I won’t pretend it is. Over time, I’m sure she’ll begin to look like a part of me. I’m still getting to know her. And that’s okay.
That old bike is now residing at her original owner’s home, where she’ll be ridden by girls at sleep-over parties and gatherings. She’ll be there when an extra ride is needed. And some lucky girl will surely struggle with the bike’s weight and brakes. But she’ll also dig that pink seat and streamers (as I left those behind). And when she feels the wind in her face and laughs with her friends, I hope she’ll be visited by the ghost in the machine. Maybe there will be an Elvis song on the breeze, as she pedals along into the adventure of her day…