I am about to ride my beloved bicycle for the last time. I am taking her to a walk through and a closing in Tribeca, and then to my office in Soho.
My ex bought me this bicycle for Mother’s Day almost fifteen years ago. It was so shiny and beautiful, a nice shade of minty green. It reminded me of my banana seat bicycles with the streamers on the handles when I was a child, growing up on Long Island. The gift of such a bicycle was thrilling back then, and I was no less excited when I received this one as an adult.
This bicycle has travelled near and far with me. I ride it to work almost every day, wearing my dresses and high heeled shoes. There’s a rickety basket on the front to hold my belongings. I take her shopping. I ride her to dinner. I use her for exercise.
Nobody wants my bicycle. I can leave her unlocked almost anywhere, and nobody steals her. The lock that I own is very lame, and could be snipped easily (very easily!). But nobody has ever snipped it.
My bicycle is heavy and slow. She is old now, and her tires often need air. When I ride her, everybody passes us by. Older people. Fatter people. Young children. But we don’t care. We’re never in a rush, enjoying the sun on our backs and the sites that we pass.
I could have kept my bicycle forever, but my daughter has asked me for her. She started college a few weeks ago, and her campus is huge, her dorm far from almost everything. I told her to bring a bike when I took her up, but she is an independent young woman, and she said no. I didn’t push it, though I encouraged her to listen. She’s like me though… I always had to learn for myself too. It is completely understandable. After just two weeks, she asked me for a bicycle. “I’ll give you mine,” I told her, immediately dreaming of a newer bike, a lighter bike, a faster bike. One that would require a more expensive lock.
“But you ride it every day,” she told me thoughtfully. “What will you do?”
“I’ll get a new one,” I told her (this has been a dormant dream of mine for many years now… that somebody would actually steal my bicycle so I could justify buying a new one).
“I need a real clunker up here,” she confirmed.
“Perfect,” I told her.
I’m driving my dear old friend up for my daughter this Sunday, along with her brother, a mini fridge, a rug, some shoes and socks, lots of food and seven Snuggies (don’t ask!). I am happy that she will remain in the family. Somehow I think she’ll be stolen up there, never to be seen by me again.