I needed something from the downstairs closet today, and what greeted me when I opened the door? None other than my bicycle. You know, the one I was riding when I crashed and broke my hyumerus last February. There it was, patiently waiting for me to ride again. Seeing it made me feel sad. The poor thing must be lonely, passing time with the wheel chair and crutches I used a few years ago when I had a broken pelvis.
I don’t remember much about my bicycle crash except that I felt my bike slipping from under me and all of a sudden I was sitting on the concrete, my glasses bent and me unable to move my arm. Since I don’t remember the pain and discomfort of the accident or the first week of recovery, I’m not afraid to get back on the bike. In fact, I’m so eager that I’ve been riding “Big Blue,” my other bike, which is mounted on a trainer in the garage. Under normal circumstances I would never ride with headphones on, but since I’m going nowhere on the trainer, I peddle away the time while listening to audiobooks. I wave at passersby through the open garage door, all the while wishing that I could just sail into the street.
Yesterday I looked at pictures of several biking outings we took last winter in Florida. I miss feeling the wind and sun on my face, and seeing plants and wildlife along the way. The world looks different from the seat of a bike. I miss the opportunity to explore new places and rediscover old, seeing more because you are going slower than you would in a car. I miss the physical challenge of going up the hill by the park, feeling my heart beat so hard it feels like it will drum itself out of my chest, and then the sense of satisfaction that comes from making it to the top.
Fortunately, an afternoon adventure took my mind off my inability to cycle. Hannah, an international student we have gotten to know this past year, just moved into her first apartment and needed help moving a few pieces of furniture. Many years ago when I was a college student, I delighted in finding bargains, and it was fun reliving the experience. Off we went to the I.U. Surplus store. You can find all kinds of things there! It was like visiting the ghost of libraries past, for surely I must have sat on some of those chairs and studied at some of those carrels back when I prepared for my doctoral exams. And what a bargain they were: all the wood chairs you want for the sum total of $1!
Our adventure didn’t stop there. After a quick unload back at the apartment we set out again with an empty truck for Campus View Apartments (where I lived in the 1980s) and then downtown to another apartment to pick up a free coffee table. It was great traveling around town together, seeing places I otherwise have no reason to visit, laughing and talking all the way.
I completely forgot about wanting to ride my bike. Until now, that is. I think I’ll head out to the garage…the trainer awaits!