At this moment, in my living room, I have a purple bicycle waiting to be ridden.
Technically, it’s not my bike. I haven’t owned a bike since I was about eight years old, and that was a blue hand-me-down from my big brother. That bike and I were fairly close friends until an incident involving sharp turns and scraped elbows separated us by means of a grudge. I haven’t done a great deal of bike riding since then, but now seems like an appropriate time to take it up again.
Mostly because the world WON’T SHUT UP ABOUT IT.
Taylor has been riding bikes for years, and not just the casual loop around the block sort of bike riding. He actually knows how a bike works. He knows what all of the magical little baubles and wires and chains do. He does maintenance on that shit, and is aware of precisely what wear and tear his frame causes the bicycle on a daily basis. Being that the noble bicycle is so much a part of Taylor’s life, it’s only natural that he’s been pestering me to start using one for the entire course of our relationship. He argues that biking is healthy for me, healthy for the environnment, and a fun way to relax.
I argue that biking is very similar to a sport I call ‘COMPETE AGAINST TRAFFIC AND TRY NOT TO DIE.’
Still, though, it’s difficult to ignore Taylor when he’s backed in his arguments by the majority of the logical world. My older sister Sarah has become quite a bicyclist. When I told her I was considering taking up life behind the handlebars I could practically feel liquid glee leaking out of the phone’s earpiece. Even my folks, who are happily dedicated to my mother’s Prius firmly endorsed the concept. They offered me my mother’s old bike, and now, having both the backing and the vehicle, I had no more reason not ride a bike.
So before leaving my parent’s house for good, Taylor and I went out to the barn (yes, the barn) to get the bicycle. What we discovered may have been a bicycle, or it may have been the dusty remains of some sort of mammoth. The color was hidden completely under a thick layer of dust. The tires had become a nest for potentially deadly spiders, and even the helmet had become a dense ball of dirt, like some sort of miniature planet with its own weeds and ecosystem. It seemed unusable and irrepairable. No bike for me.
Still, though, Taylor is not to be deterred by such elementary things as dust and deadly spider wounds. After a session with a house and many wrenches later, the noble beast is standing proudly in our living room, a splendid specimen of bikehood.
So now, all that’s left to do is to hop on that bike, after twelve years with my feet on the ground, and go careening happily into traffic.