After I wrote that last big bummer of a post I went out and rode for 20-something miles (not sure how many, as my GPS burped and gasped on the first leg.) It felt good. Didn’t cure my brain or anything, but it was nice to be outside and exploring new routes.
Yesterday I woke up and *POOF* my brain chemistry was back in balance. Felt fine, had energy, had the old familiar gloom pulled back. Alright! Let’s put on jumpy music to make breakfast! Let’s dance in the kitchen and do stretches while we watch cartoons! I dropped my son off at school and headed out for another ride – just something short to keep the wind in my face while exploring a bike path on the other side of town.
I took my break after about ten miles and looked around.
This is my bike.
It is not a nice bike.
No one will ever, at a biking event, walk up and say, “Whoa man, sweet bike!”
No one will ask where I got it or if they can have a turn riding it around
It is not fancy, just a department store-level Huffy
It has a kickstand, for God’s sake
It is heavy
It is rusty
The seat is torn
The bearings need to be replaced
The handlebars are crooked from an old wreck
But it is My Bike and I love it
It carried me through my grief in New York
It carried me away from my home when my marriage ended
It carried me to Coney Island for moments of unbelievable joy and serenity
And now, since unearthing it a month ago, it has carried me around 180 miles
Think about what is 180 miles away from where you are right now
It is My Bike and I love it
And I can’t wait to ride it across the finish line in two days
Surrounded by thousands of dollars in cycling hardware
Some of the finest around
But I will not covet
And I will have no shame
Never shame the old friends who have been with you for years
Thank them, and stand by them proudly
As they have stood by you
~ fin ~
And while I am *loathe* to turn my bike into a cheap metaphor, I should say I feel like my entire life lately is like my bike and that, yes, things could be easier, things could be so much easier, God I could just fucking bail and never give any of this a second thought, but it is through embracing the difficulty of this life that I have discovered things about myself I didn’t know, found strength in myself that I assumed only other people had and, against my own assumptions, have carried on without giving up. OK wait I just did that thing I said I wasn’t gonna do, dang, fart.
So, huzzah. Rainy day, no ride, rest up for Saturday. It will be a breeze, it will feel nice, and then I will bike 30 miles, then 40, then on and on into forever. Next year I will do the 60 mile ride. I will bike to the end of the fucking world and back. I will be whole again, I guarantee it.
Seriously, though, if I’m gonna ride any more than 30 or 40 miles I’m gonna need a better bike this one is killing me Jeeeesus