What Should I Do With The Bike?
I already know the answer
I am not a bike person, though I have wanted to be at numerous points in my life. The concept of a bike in a city for me is nice, but in practice, I lack the stamina and the grit it takes to ride a bike in the city with confidence. Seven years ago, a very nice ex-boyfriend bought me a bike for my birthday. It’s an old Schwinn — royal blue and extremely heavy, with a step-through frame and ten speeds, five to six of which are broken. When I got the bike, I was thrilled, my head full of visions of myself riding to farmer’s markets and returning home with herbs and kale and greens. I would ride to work; I would ride home from the bar; I would wake up on a Saturday morning full of purpose and ride around just for the fun of it.
At the time, I lived in San Francisco, on the second floor of a very nice apartment, at the top of a fairly steep hill. Riding my bike to the Mission took a smooth 20 minutes, all speed and breeze and coasting downhill. Riding home was hell. By the time I reached the Safeway at Church and Market, I knew it would soon be time to get off my bike and push it up the hill to my house.
The bike moved across country when I did, packed into a specific bike box purchased from a bike shop and painstakingly reassembled in the driveway of my father’s house before being put onto the bike rack and transported the two hours to the city. The bike has sat in every room I’ve ever lived in ever since, gathering dust.
It’s gotten some use. I rode it to the bike shop once or twice to get an estimate on how much money I’d have to spend in order to make it comfortably rideable. My sister borrowed it once and rode it to Fort Tilden; I am still amazed that she made it back in one piece. For the most part, it sits in my room and serves as a very fancy coatrack. I should get rid of the bike. I’m not riding the bike. But it was a present — a very thoughtful one, the most thoughtful I’ve ever received, most likely — and it reminds me of the person who gave it to me. Holding onto things for sentimental reasons is fine, but at this point enough time has passed that holding onto the bike for any longer feels Havisham-esque.
Bu the possibility still lingers that I will at one point become a person who rides a bike. If I get rid of this bike, what happens if I want a new bike? Why would I essentially throw money away? Should I keep the bike? Will I die with the bike on one side and my cat on the other, like some sort of pathetic tableaux?
Soon, I will make an executive decision on the bike. For right now, it stays.
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