Friday, May 28, 2010

Ode to my bike

I miss the good times we've had. I miss our adventures. I miss your free spirit. I miss my mobility! My bicycle is on the fritz and so I'm least for a little while.

About eight years ago, Rheid gave me a wonderful birthday present. Bright red and shiny, it was love at first sight--or should I say pedal. I didn't want to admit at first that I was the owner of an electric bicycle. My hesitation was two-fold: not wanting to look like a freak and not wanting to admit that my trusty 5-speed was becoming more than I could manage.

When we moved to Fort Collins over nine years ago, I couldn't wait to join in the throngs of bicycle riders who rode seemingly everywhere. Living in a ridiculously cyclist-friendly city, I watched as others cruised in the bike lane or ventured off onto one of the many trails around town while I nearly coughed up a lung just riding the 4 blocks to the neighborhood park. To say I was jealous is an understatement. I was not only jealous but I was angry at my inability to keep doing something I had been able to do for as long as I could remember. So I stopped riding since it made me feel more frustrated and angry rather than carefree--something else to add to my "guess I can't do that anymore list."

When he first brought it up, I balked at my husband's suggestion to try an electric bike. CF makes you stubborn I guess and if I couldn't "do it the right way" then I'd rather not bike at all. I've always believed in pushing myself not coddling the illness and after all, I thought, wasn't riding an electric bike taking the easy way out? Luckily, with pride firmly swallowed, I decided to give one a test drive. I loved it!

It's a lesson I'm still trying to learn: never let the fact that you can't do everything you want to do keep you from doing what you can. Maybe I can't do things the old way (and it's okay to feel sad about that loss) but then I need to look for the things I can do, modify if necessary, and do them with gusto.

So maybe riding a nerdy-looking bike isn't so bad. And now since I have to strap on my O2 backpack , I've ratcheted up nerdy a bit higher than before--but hey, sometimes the nerd factor becomes so large, you actually skip clear past nerd standards and become instead "extremely cool and unique"--at least that's how I choose to view it.

Hopefully with a little bit of mechanical assistance, I'm back in the bike lane soon looking pretty awesome.

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