This morning I had so much anxiety about getting on my bike. “It’s just like riding a bike!” Right. Once you know how, you never forget.
But what happens when that bike has history? This bike was given to me by my college beau Geoff Birch (Thank you, Geoff! Yes! I still have it.) We went on trail rides where I huffed and puffed and generally tried to keep up with the boys. Sometimes it was loaded with frustration and always with a great deal of determination.
My first summer home from Grad school, I rode this bike to and from Del Mar and La Jolla, finishing my ride up Del Mar Heights. Again it was a matter of determination.
During the first three years of Grad school I rode this bike up the Great Meadow of UCSC, which at one point has the cruel visual illusion of seeming downhill when it really is an uphill pedal. (Ben Riddell, you may remember a certain plaid skirt from this era). And again it was a matter of determination.
Finally, years into married life this bike took me back and forth to work, again along the hills and climbs of Del Mar. (Gabriela Morgan, I fondly remember our late night rides home.)
Riding this bike has never been easy for me, and now years later I am looking at it and trying to find the courage to be on it again. I am not the person I was before. I am not as strong or athletic as I once was. And I am measuring myself against those past mes and I am seeing so much less of what I once believed of myself.
I found every excuse not to be on the bike this morning. “You have too much to do.” “You can’t spare the time.” “You won’t be able to carry anything on your bike.” “You really aren’t feeling that great.” “You don’t have a good lock.”
And one by one, they popped up and took shape and stood in my way as I put on the helmet and walked to the shed and pulled down the bike and rolled it out onto the street.