It has been over twelve years since I have ridden my bike. I was all set to sell it in my recent garage sale, but when my husband brought it up from the basement he persuaded me to keep it. He hung it in the garage beside his so that it would be easier to fetch. We had some lovely, cool and breezy days last weekend, so on Saturday afternoon we decided to take a ride on the Prairie Path.
Remember, it has been at least a dozen years since I have pedaled anywhere, and I felt a bit wobbly; I wasn't sure, at first, if I would even make it out of the neighborhood. I don't have the easy balance that I had when I was a whippet. My bike is out of shape, too, and the gears were stiff and sticking. Once on the Prairie Path, however, the riding was smooth, and I gained confidence. So with the wind in my hair and my legs burning with disuse, we pedaled to the river.
I walked to the river in April with a friend who was visiting from the Philippines. We sat on the bench beside the Path eating chicken salad sandwiches and drinking fresh limeade till we were rested. It is a long walk. But it is a quick bike ride.
My husband and I stood on the bridge a long while watching the wind flighting through treetops and threshing the bulrushes and sedge. Watching winds thrash and dance and flutter is one of my chief pleasures in this world. A canoe with three passengers passed under the bridge and meandered around the bend. Far off, I heard children playing, their voices joining the cheerful chatter of songbirds. A hawk floated in the distance. A muskrat appeared at the edge of the river and dove beneath the cloudy water. I was reluctant to ride home.
My bikefast is broken and it certainly won't be another twelve years before I ride my old blue bike again.