So….my Pee-Wee Herman style bike was stolen on Friday night.
Never did I expect to get so emotional about it. It’s just a bike, right? I can buy a new one, right?
No, I can’t. That was MY bike. Some bastard has it that totally has no clue what the bike means to me.
But it’s just a bike, right? Nope. I never thought I’d feel this way about my bike. Since March, it’s been my only mode of transport. I ride it to work, out for drinks with friends, show up at clubs with it, put it on the bike rack on the bus and take it to Golden or Boulder, to the park for a picnic, down to the coffee shop for a day of nonsense, to the farmers’ market and grocery shopping, or I just cruise around town late at night to clear my head. This bike has been my only friend at times. The only thing I could depend on to carry me.
We’ve had a ton of good times. We’ve gone on the Wednesday and Sunday rides with the Denver Cruisers, all over Santa Fe, the various biking dates along with all the times men have asked me out because they saw me pull up on my bike, watching the sun set at the Denver Science and History Museum while drinking a bottle of wine with friends…the list goes on.
I know every inch of that bike. It’s like knowing a lover. I know every ding and scratch and how they got there. I can feel when something is wrong with it like the gears are doing something funny or the wheels feel like they’re even slightly wobbly. I’ve crashed that bike so many times, whether it was due to drinking a smidge too much or it was some asshole speed skater pushing me over, but it kept going. It’s built like a freaking tank and took just as much power to pedal it. It makes riding other bikes much easier because they’re all light-weights in comparison.
That bike never gave up on me.
It was a gift to myself when I graduated from a trade school. I shouldn’t have spent the money but I always tell myself “buy what you love” and when I laid eyes on it for the first time… I loved it. Through the grimy window of the Schwinn shop at Colfax and Adams, I fell in love with a beautiful red and white Schwinn 7 Alloy. Seven gears, two side baskets, and the memory of how much I had wanted a Pee-Wee Herman bike as a young teen propelled me into that store and pull out my credit card. I remember feeling giddy as I walked it out of the store and hopped on it for the first time. The rush of being on a bike again, my hair blowing in the wind, and a May day being the most perfect day ever.
That’s what a bicycle can do.
It can change your whole perspective in an instant. It changes you mentally, emotionally, and physically if you let it.
And you learn how to always get up when you get knocked down.