An Open Letter to My Kidnapped Bicycle

My trusty steed,

Three years we spent together, you and I. Though I wasn’t blind to your shortcomings, I loved you anyway. You were steady and faithful, getting me where I needed or wanted to be, perhaps not quickly, but in good time and dry enough, too.

We’ve seen sun and we’ve seen rain together. I have felt sweat trickle down my sternum as I pedaled up low grades on warmer days.  My hands, tight upon your glittery pink grips, have gone numb on many a chill ride. So have my feet, for that matter. I have felt bliss as the wind rushed over my face and through my hair on those days and evenings of perfect weather.

You took me to work almost every day, to the gym, to church, to visit friends, to buy groceries, to go dancing, to grab a beer.  How many times did you wait patiently, tethered to lonely bike posts in the freezing drizzle while I got my devoirs done or had my kicks?

Sometimes we went out just for fun: not to get somewhere, just to be going. Looking back, I regret that we did that so rarely. I should have spent more quality time with you. Hopefully, my pats and praises were enough to let you know how much you meant to me.

Because now it is too late for more joy rides.  You are gone. Somewhere out there someone else is listening to the creak of your chain guard every time you hit a piece of gravel or rough patch.  Someone else is learning that your coast brake only works in one gear (or maybe they crashed for lack of learning!).  You left so suddenly out of my life. I’m sorry it ended this way. I don’t think I was ready. I had always planned to keep you around even if I got a fancier bike. We’d still go out on occasion and friends could ride you, too. But, as is usually the case, my proposed time-line did not match up with reality.  I foolishly left you unlocked in my friends’ yard, and, poof!, you were gone.

A friend reminded me that I had always been a bit cavalier about the possibility that you would be kidnapped. I had bravely announced that in such an event,  I would simply assume your captor needed you more than I. When I came out to find you gone this Saturday, that magnanimous attitude was lost, too.  Rage was more the thing.  As we drove hopelessly around the neighborhood scanning for any sign of you, I was fuming.  I uttered threats of great violence I had in store for your abductor. I would grab him by the jugular and tell him what a good-for-nothing piece of shit he was.  Not a becoming picture, I know!

My dear pink Schwinn, we had a good run together.  My dazzling new Giant, who came into my life so soon after your departure only because of the extreme kindness of others, is a delight, but still a stranger.  He may be a speedier choice, and we might go on more joy rides than you and I did, but he will never take the special place you have in my heart.  Thank you for three wonderful years of transportation and freedom.  The day I woke up and saw you outside my bedroom window for the first time will never be forgotten. I hope your new rider will get you frequent tune-ups, keep you out of the rain, and remember to pump up your tires to 65 PSI. You deserve the best!

So much love and many thanks,

Joyfully Outlandish

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