The Unbelievable Story of the Long Lost Bike
A year or so ago, I was riding bikes with my two boys. I was in the middle of the street, my oldest son was in front of me and my youngest son was beside me.
Right beside me.
Actually, after just a few minutes of riding, he was with me, as in intertwined with my bike, before I could move away. This made me fall to my right, which happened to be right over him, and into the grass. I did a sort of a Hollywood dive-and-roll. I was, for just a minute, Kelley Chan.
My son sort of looked like this, though, except he had my bike across him like a bike blanket and, thankfully, he was wearing a helmet.
And he was in the middle of the street.
(This actually is my son- the same son- but a couple of years prior. He was playing dead after his brother got him with a light saber.)
I ran over to him, lifted my bike up, brushed him off, made sure he was okay and then checked out my bike.
It was clear my bike could have used a helmet, too. It was bent, wobbly and in no position to take me anywhere.
We slowly made it home walking hand-in-handlebar. When we finally arrived there, we rolled into the garage where I winked at my husband's bike and said, "We're going to have to get to know each other now."
I'm not a big fan of "boy bikes". They have that straight bar where girl bikes don't. Right in the middle. Have you ever, as a girl, fallen on that part? When I was younger, I did. Those boy bikes will get you right in the hoo-ha. Ouch, ouch and ouch again.
My husband is also at least 4-5 inches taller than me. It is not convenient to ride his bike since I have to borrow the fire department's ladder just to climb into the seat. What choice do I have, though? Mine is all out of whack. Mine's got a bum wheel.
So, while my bike waits to go to the bike hospital, I have been riding my husband's bike. It was his bike I decided to ride to Bunco a couple of weeks ago, as it was right down the street from me. Too close to drive, too far to walk.
I went out into the garage.
I looked for the bike.
"Bike?" I called out.
He didn't answer.
"I think someone stole your bike," I said to my husband as I went back inside.
He went back into the garage, but he couldn't find Bike either.
(It is sad to say that our garage is in such a disarray that it would have been possible for me to have missed the bike.)
Where was Bike??
My husband was getting nervous. He has had that bike for a long time. It was an expensive bike when he bought it. It is probably not worth much now, but it was his beloved bike.
"You know what?" He said as an idea hit him. "I think I rode my bike to the swim meet two weeks ago."
(We're that family that wakes up at 6:30 on Saturday mornings to go spend half the day sitting in lawn chairs while sweat runs down our bodies and forms small ponds in front of us that ducks eventually find as it deepens and deepens with the collective sweat puddles joining together as we all wait for our swimmers' numbers to be called.)
(Lake Ponchartrain in New Orleans was formed after a particularly hot and lengthy swim meet back in 1982.)
"Well, I'm not sure."
"TWO weeks ago? Really?"
I got into our SUV. I had to investigate. I had to find out the truth!
As I approached our neighborhood pool located about two minutes from us, I held my breath.
I got closer.
I held my breath some more.
I turned the corner.
And, BOOM-SHOCKA-LOCKA, it was there.
The bike was still there.
"Your bike is still here!" I excitedly yelled to my husband over the phone.
He couldn't believe it. That bike had quietly sat there day after day, rainstorm after rainstorm, all by itself. We would later learn that many people in the neighborhood saw the bike and wondered why no one had claimed it. Some kids would ride it around the parking lot even.
Each night, though, it got returned to its little slot in the bike rack.
I ended up shoving it into the back of the SUV and driving to Bunco anyway. I told everyone "The Long Lost Bike" story once I got there.
I find it unbelievable that it never got stolen. People saw it time and again and no one nabbed it and rode it to the corner store.
(When I get to excited over that fact, people point out that the Dollar General about 20-25 minutes away has been robbed twice in less than a week.)
I wish I could tell you that all was happy after that but the truth is that Bike has his feelings hurt really badly. Bikes can be sensitive. (Case in point: Lance Armstrong's bike hasn't talked to him in years.) Bike feels abandoned and neglected. We are currently looking for a counselor that specializes in PTSDBFB (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder But For Bikes), but, so far, have found nothing.
We will get there. We will eventually regain his trust. Until then, we are taking it day by day, moment by moment, as we take quiet rides through the neighborhood.