The Bicycle.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My bicycle is much more than two tires, a body of carefully fused metal, and a seat.  It embodies a way of life.

My bicycle can only be operated in a forward motion; peddling backwards will get me nowhere, expect for maybe face down on the pavement, with possible bruising to my limbs and ego.  It doesn’t come equipped with a rearview mirror; I can only focus on the road ahead of me.  My bicycle isn’t powered by diesel or unleaded gasoline.  Nor is it energized by neatly arranged rows of solar panels or a bulky steam engine.  I alone set my bicycle in motion.  The chain of command begins from my brain, works with rigid precision through my abdominals and hips, then finalizes with a fluid transition to my legs and feet, and I’m on my way.  I can only hold myself back.  I choose my path and I choose my destiny.  Closed roads, traffic jams, and construction don’t necessarily affect me; I can take alternative routes: sidewalks, roads, back lanes, and paths

Preparation is paramount when it comes to riding my bicycle.  I need to ensure that I’m dressed appropriately for the weather.  I also need to bring equipment to repair a flat tire or to lubricate a rusty chain.  Being unprepared can lead to problems, obstacles, and to despair.  It’s also beneficial to have a general idea of where I need to be going.  A focus, if you will. 

The difference between traveling in a vehicle, like a car or truck, and a bicycle, is that in a vehicle, you’re purely an observer.  “Look out the window, kids”, is also something my Mom would suggest to my siblings and I on summer road trips.  On a bicycle, you’re experiencing the elements as a tree would during a thunderstorm. 

My bicycle is an extension of how I want to live my life.  I want to move forward.  I don’t want to dwell on the past; I would rather learn from it.  I want to have a clear direction of where my life is headed.  Working hard and being prepared are key components in helping me forge my existence.  More than anything, however, I want to experience life.  I don’t want to remain on the sidelines as a casual observer.  I have my bicycle to thank for that.  And for that I am grateful.      



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