I’m talking about my bicycle, a blue, two-wheeled, 21-speed death trap. I parked it in the storage closet last November and promptly forgot about it. It’s funny how fast biking falls off the radar after the leaves fall off the trees. I hadn’t expected to face this particular conundrum until spring, at least a couple months, anyway.
Well, surprise, time’s up! Spring came early — in flipping February — with 70º days and bright, sunshiny skies. It not only caught me off-guard, it woke the bike from its quiet, peaceful hibernation. The bike was happy; I was happy; all was right with the world. Now all that’s about to change.
The thing is, I can’t resist the temptation of bikes. Or horses, roller coasters, hoppity balls, broomsticks, anything fast. If you can ride it, I hop on. Then fall off and break something. I feel the tug and I cave in to it. Even now my bike is calling to me. The difference this year is, I’m afraid and fear is not helpful.
Anxiety in tight situations — like heavy traffic, narrow pathways, sharp angles — is a recipe for disaster. I seize up, become hesitant, I wobble and veer, sideswipe guardrails and curbs and parking meters; it’s flat-out dicey. In light traffic with few obstacles, I exhibit fine balance and good coordination, but terrible, awful judgment. So, either way, I’m headed for trouble.
On these early spring days, I’ll find myself making a sandwich or watching television and the bike calls out to me. Not with a melodious ‘yoohoooooo’, but a snappish ‘let me out.’ I’m telling you, it freaks me out a little, you know? Especially after last summer’s accident, the one with the punctured lung and broken shoulder.
From out of the blue, another quieter voice has started to pipe up with ‘let sleeping dogs lie.’ The bike hollers at it to shut up, a fistfight breaks out, and I wind up with a pounding headache. In my funhouse world, headaches act as a preventive measure. Long may they pound.
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