Tuesday, February 28

*Come ride with me*

Today I went out and after roughly 18 months of consideration, I bought myself a bike.  This morning, as I sat in my room doing my morning devotional, I realized today was the time to spend the rather considerable amount of money on a "toy" that I had not tried in about 20 years.  At roughly the age of 12, I went on a "death march" bike ride with my family in Dallas.  It was such a horrible experience bike riding in the Dallas heat on a junky bike, trying to keep up with others in the family, that I swore I would never do it again.  Well, I am a liar.

So this morning, I left the house with the intention of finding a bike to ride by the end of the day.  At the first shop, I walked in fully expecting to buy a fancy Electra cruiser bike with a darling basket, and a little bell.  So, the sales clerk walked up to me to greet me. So, I told him I wanted to buy a bike but didn't know what I should be looking for as I hadn't been on one since I was a child.  His advice: just pick out a pretty color.  Seriously?!? Needless to say, I was not going to drop that kind of cash at a place where they just didn't care to explain things like, gears matter, how it feels to sit in the seat, am I sitting erect, is it pushing me forward.... Anyhow.  Then I headed down the street to the next Bike shop, Taylor's Bike's in Provo, and tried again.  This time I discussed things like what kind of biking would I be doing, how did I want to be seated, how did I like the comfort? Anyhow, by the time they were done, the poor girl got a hug from me, who hates hugs! I could not have been more grateful for the family running that shop and treating me with respect and not shaming me for being a thick lady trying to go bike riding. 

I went straight home and literally prayed that the old adage is true, " it's like riding a bike..." well, luckily it is.  I was panicked at first at the idea of lifting my feet and figuring out how to get started, but that was sorted out soon enough and I headed out to explore the neighborhood I have lived in for the last 7 years.  How beautiful.  It was snowing, and cold, but a gorgeous day for a ride.  I went down a mile or so to the cemetery by my home, and determined that would be as good a place as any to try out the gears, breaking, and general biking skills.  It was so beautiful.  I am grateful for the time out of the house in the sun, and allowing for inspiration to come to me.  I was able to call my brother and have a sincere talk with him, and I was able to once again, feel like myself.  I was not hiding in my home, I was not ashamed.  I was free......

 A beautiful statue from around 1900.  I felt the familiar tingle I once enjoyed in cemeteries in Europe.

 This is the part of the cemetery called the Angel Garden.  It is the graves of the tiny children who lived only long enough to enter the world and be seen by their families, some lived a few weeks or months.  There were headstones with Birthday balloons and stuffed animals.  There was a headstone just past these for a young child that had a shepherds hook with a flashlight hanging on it for a child who was afraid of the dark. 

 My favorite headstone

This is about a block from my home. I had to loop back around when I saw this beautiful door with the wreath on the wood panel. I am thinking about asking them for it!  Perhaps, I will cut it down to a square of the woodwork section and hang it on a wall, or make it a side table.....

Home at last...I love this bike and the freedom of my days.


Mark A said...

Yaaay for Bike freedom!
Ride slow... No rush and nothing to prove.

Annie said...

Wow Bethany, I am impressed that you could ride so confidently after so many years, Kah Leong and I rented bikes about a year ago and it was so hard not to just wobble around! I love that your bike has a basket :-)