I Know That I Should Remember How to Do This
Simple; ride my bike to class. It makes so much sense. The weather is great, it’s summer after all and my schedule seems
wide open. Parking is prohibited for blocks and blocks or is expensive at the meters. Taking the bus takes too long and
besides I hate waiting. I could walk the mile or so to class but thinking about the long walk back after a long brain popping
day of class and I rule out that option. It’s obvious, riding my bike is the right thing to do.
I have a fantastic bike. The best one in the house, my bike riding husband reminds me, as he pumps up the tires a bit. He
gave it to me years ago, after we had our first son. We went on bike rides then as a family with the baby in the carrier seat.
We were so young, and proud to be young and proud; the threesome on the bikes. Since then my bike has been following us
around from garage to garage looking good but serving no purpose other than to decorate the wall and remind me that I am
no longer young and my life has little room for family bike rides.
So, today, I gather my biking tools. (Who knew there were so many?) The bike is in good working order, thanks to husband,
check. I dig out a backpack from the hall closet that was rejected from oldest son, check. Repack it with my laptop, books
and some items from my purse, check. (Who carries a purse on a bike?) Uncover the racy red helmet that I won at a Hockey
tournament; wipe off spider webs and take more time than anticipated to figure out how to fit and close it, check. Find a
bungie cord to attach lunch bag to back frame, check. Borrow lock and key from husband, check. Dig through the kitchen
junk drawer for keychain so I won’t lose the key. (I am good at losing keys.)
Check. Get on the bike. Deep breath, I am thinking, “Now I actually have to ride this thing!” I push off down the driveway
and I’m on my way; the bike goes and I stay on and I feel secure and well, it isn’t too bad.
Oh, yes, legs are involved, thighs are pumping but it’s not too hard. The road does a slight incline and GEARS; oh, no, gears,
how do I do gears? I know that I should remember how to do this! So many gears! Don’t panic, just keep switching and
pedaling, pedaling, pedaling. Clunk, I’m in.
It’s good once I settle into a rhythm. I just keep going, making steady progress to my destination. I feel the sun and the
breeze. I can hear the birds and take in the lovely ness of the leaves blowing on the sugar maples; the splashes of color in
the gardens as I glide right by them. I’m riding my bike and it feels so fine!
My confidence is renewed with this long dormant skill. Now, I take in a bike specific view of the world. Over on my side of
the road the road is really bumpy! I feel every crack and dip in the road. Has this seat always been so uncomfortable? As a
car passes I realize that the generous 3 feet that I allow between bike riders and my driving self is not really all that
generous. Intersections are personally stressful. I make it through with just a little extra wobbling. I discover a bike path
on campus that I didn’t know was there. Smooth sailing!
Sliding up to the bike rack I am hardly winded. There is no pain or stress. I am sure that I don’t look like a novice as I lock
my bike and take off my helmet. I remember how to do this. I remember how much fun it was. I realize why I have felt a
stab of sadness when passing my bike on the rack in the garage. Riding a bike makes me feel 12 year old, first new bike, free.
Go wherever I want to and pedal as lazy or as manic as I please. Find myself somewhere new. Yes, riding my bike is the right
thing to do.