So much has gone on. Little to do with bicycles. My father in law is in the hospital here in town. Complications from a biopsy. Should be fine, but he needs time to heal. He and his wife arrived Thursday and we met them at the hospital. Lacey was visiting with him yesterday and I thought I might not. I was staying home to work, as needed, but soon changed my mind. For a moment I ruminated on the many modes of transportation available to me (and all of their short comings). I didn’t care to drive. The bus route that works only ran during rush hour (it was lunch). It was a bit too far to walk. Pedaling was an obvious answer, but the weather was nasty. Raining a bit and I don’t like taking bicycles out on salted roads.
I am reading Bike Snob’s book just now. The first chapter covers the history of the bicycle. Good enough. The second chapter, though, divides the world into cyclists and fetishists. Apparently I am a fetishist. Because I care about bicycles enough to sometimes not ride them. I know it is a joke. Or maybe just a generalization. Still, it felt kind of harsh. I am careful with everything I own. I bring something into my life and I think of the people who worked to make it come into being. I think of the resources expended. I think of the next owner. I think of the effort I put into making it right. All of this together sometimes stops me from taking a bicycle out in harsh conditions. Whatever. My definition of cyclist is more inclusive and, no surprise, includes me.
So I sat and thought about my father in law and my hang ups and my many bicycles. I decided I could ride the Raleigh Sprite. The perfect city bike for short errands. I got it for free. Spent nothing but time to make it right. Few people find it interesting. I don’t even mean to keep it, but there it is. The weather wasn’t so bad. Maybe it had rained enough to wash away the salt. So I did it. I pedaled it to the hospital.
Couldn’t have enjoyed the ride more. Forties in January are always a treat. A nice bicycle rack under cover at the hospital. Embarrassing, but I always feel proud walking around with my bike helmet. A little ego boost. So what of it? The Raleigh is a fun ride. Unique and quirky. Easy to tell you are on something different. Standing to pedal requires extreme care lest my right knee shift the bike out of first gear. The thing is geared so tall I need no other.
We had a nice visit, then Lacey left when I did, or very nearly so. In my mind I was racing the motorist back home. I obeyed all laws, but my bike was closer than her car. I didn’t have to pay a fee to exit the garage. I pedaled hard. The rollers have helped me stay somewhat strong. I won the race! Turns out, though, the race was nowhere near fair. Lacey was detained leaving and then lost her car in the garage. She arrived a full 30 minutes behind. I had time to wipe off the bicycle, package up hummus and flatbreads and sit in the driveway and watch the crows congregating in neighboring trees. Then Mahar’s. Lacey’s mom isn’t much of a beer fan, but she did enjoy a small glass of Ommegang Adoration. Turns out she has become a big supporter of Ommegang because of their opposition to fracking. Cool woman, my mother in law. So that’s that. More hospital today. Probably twice daily visits for most of the upcoming week. Glad to be here to lend support.
Very sad to mention that our friend’s dog passed away. Cancer. We’d known her for 6 years and loved her so much. One of those strong, quiet and noble dogs that really get under my skin. Frida loved her, too. We’ll miss her so much.
Please take good care of yourselves. Maybe drink just one beer, or two, rather than three or more. And feel free to replace beer in that sentence with whatever thing you love that is wonderful in moderation but maybe troublesome when you enjoy too much of it. OK?