28 May 2009
when things get to be too much, I ride. I get on my bike and I ride and ride. when my head is a mess and the house is a mess and the kids are a mess and supper is not magically appearing as I was hoping maybe it would, I head for the garage. this is where my favorite bike waits patiently for me. if I can, I ride during the magic hour when the long legs of daylight stretch out before me and the tops of the houses glow. I pedal as fast as I can. I coast, pedal and repeat. my old bike rattles and creaks like an old carnival ride which makes me love her about a hundred times more than I already do.
I ride past manicured yards and unruly ones, past papery poppies and complicated irises, past my favorite aqua-colored house and the convenience store on the corner. I collect the scents of the neighborhood as I go. grilled beef from the vietnamese restaurant down the street, laundry drying in a basement, grass wet from sprinklers, hints of honeysuckle. discarded items sit in jumbles at the end of each driveway in anticipation of trash day. a broken shovel, a tangle of white tubing, a seatless tricycle, a metal shoe rack that has obviously been replaced by a shinier, more promising shoe rack. they know they are headed for the dump but remain oddly hopeful. past trash and recycling bins I ride, past a little league game in full swish and the school playground, onto familiar and unfamiliar streets. I am always changing my route. I never take the same way twice.
it's been exactly one year since I bought this bike. best eighty dollars I ever did spend. because when I ride, things fall away. when I ride, it feels a little like flying. and when I get home, dinner still has to be made, messes still have to be cleaned up, deadlines still wait but I am a thousand pounds lighter and my mind is quiet. and that's definitely worth eighty dollars. plus all the rest of the money in the world. and then some.
p.s. all this riding has me dreaming of bicycle accessories. checkit, it's my magic three.