imaginary biking

“I thought maybe you’d given up biking
one says when I show up on two wheels.
“Have you made friends with your bike again?”
says another, brokering the idea of autumn rides.
 I haven’t given up and we are friends.

At least, I would still like to be friends.

Dear Oma and Lady Blue,
I would like to still be friends with you . . .

But here’s the thing –
setting aside the thing about how suddenly
(with the caretaking thing and
the horticultural reconstructive surgery thing and
the I-just-can’t-get-my-act-together thing)
suddenly I can’t seem to afford
that extra 20 minutes it takes to ride into town –
suddenly I can’t seem to consolidate my trips into town
to once at the start of a day
and back at the end of the day-
how instead it’s zip-zip-zip zigzagging
from hill to river
always stopping at the in-laws
three four times a day.
And carting loads that would no way fit in my
handlebar basket.
Setting aside all that,
and setting aside also the hostile forces
among the powers-that-be
who have laid down a new rule
that kids can’t ride the school bus
from the transfer site to school
but can only ride from home to school
(a 45-minute bus ride,
followed by a half-hour wait at the transfer site,
followed by that 5-minute bus ride).
Setting aside all that
as stuff that could be worked around,
worked through,
wriggled under,
here is the real Thing:
Before,
I had a daughter-driver
to tote siblings from practice
with their backpacks of books
and duffels of sweaty clothes,
in the dark, in the pouring rain,
which rain I don’t mind.
But I do mind whining
and all that gusty griping.
Before,
 I had the option
of leaving my reluctant ones at home and biking alone,
letting them come along by car
if they couldn’t be persuaded to join me
in the cycling life.
Now it’s all persuasion and capitulation.
And mostly the latter.
And mostly on my part.
Dear Wheels of Self-Propelled Progress,
I’m beginning again to yearn for you.
And I’m hoping that may be enough to get me out there.

> cross-posted on Imaginary Bicycle .blogspot .

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