Friday, April 17, 2009

The Commuter

The man hoisted his winter bloated pear shape up and over the flimsy two wheeled contraption and settled gingerly onto a precarious perch. Shifting his copious weight to the left a little and then back to the right so as to not damage his procreation orbs, he slowly lowered his top heavy body onto a platform measuring about 6 inches wide by about 10 inches long. After a couple of tentative touchdowns he allowed the puny platform to disappear into his butt cheeks. The resulting sensation was not pleasant, but he figured he could handle it. He pushed down on the right crank arm. His first bike commute of Spring was officially underway.

This simple action was the culmination of weeks of procrastination, wallowing in guilt as the pear shaped man used any excuse handy to not begin this annual torture.

"Not warm enough. Oh, look there, looks like rain. Shit! Not enough time to do it today. Or I really should take the truck, I might need it to haul something, anything could happen. Never know when a truck might come in handy."

Yes, weeks had passed this way as the man continued his pear shaped ways and sought any reprieve no matter how flimsy, from the eventual pain and agony of that first warm season commute by bike. And even when all the delaying excuses had worn thin, he still dragged his feet. Went over the bike not once, but two or three times. Adjusted this, played with that. Wasted more time looking for the right gear to make it safely from home to the shop. Checked his tools, his tubes, his pump, and even made sure that five dollar bill was still in the seat bag. Didn't matter that it was only 8 miles one way, he had to know he had the gear to go on a three week tour ready and able. He often dreamed of not stopping at the shop one day. Just keep going. Don't look back. Pedal away from this life and into another.

As that first hill swept by at forty plus, the fat commuter man was grateful he had guessed right about his clothing choice. It was damn cool, but only his face seemed uncomfortable. His eyes teared up. He couldn't see. He just tried to keep the bike on the black ribbon in front of him and hoped no one was coming the other way. The bike wandered from one side of the road to the other. He caught a crack and almost stacked it hard. Somehow he held on. At the bottom of the hill he smiled.

This is what it was all about. The predictable pain he worked so hard to avoid and put off was forgotten as the joy of pedaling a bike re-dawned on his soul. Simple pleasure took it's place. The pedaling fool geared down smoothly as the bottom transitioned up again. By the top and out of breath, pain finding it's way into his muscles and lungs, he stilled grinned. Harder now, he stepped into it and punched up the big ring and blasted out onto the highway not even giving that four way intersection a second thought. Out on 109 he pedaled the ridge. A beautiful glorious view across Apple Valley stopped at skies so blue, it hurt to look at them. He stroked easy, he took his time. He landed in Springvale pumped and ready for whatever came his way that day.

Our hero conveniently did not consider that going home would be a different matter. He would cross that bridge when he closed up for the night. Right now, this moment, he felt alive again. In pain and out of breath, his face still laughed. Winter's cocoon had been shed.


(630 / 8103)


Gary ("Old Dude") said...

wow, the pear shaped man had gears on his bike!!!? never had gears on my bike----only had the one, but then I became a teenager---and bikes were for kids.

BBC said...

I am looking at buying a building and moving my shop into it.Good time to buy and I've always hated renting. Bought the building and land I had my parts house in.

Made a little money on it when I left, beats the hell out of rent and it's all tax deductible either way.

There will always be bikers, but I think the trend here will be for electric bikes. Or that new Segway two person transporter they are working on.

Depending on how long you intend on keeping working but it might not be a bad idea to see if you can get a Segway dealership. Something to think about.

Middle Ditch said...

I never had gears either. I loved my bicycles when I lived in Holland. Everyone owned one. Cycle paths everywhere.

Not anymore I don't. Narrow, bumpy, twist, hilly, full of potholes English roads are a deathtrap for any cycler. Ask my husband who defies death nearly every day simply because he loves cycling too.

Randal Graves said...

Now I feel like going for a bike ride. Just need a bike!

I've never heard them called procreation orbs. Very Star Trek-y.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Our hero conveniently did not consider that going home would be a different matter.Hahahahahaha!! This very consideration has kept me from digging out my bike for the commute to work so far in 2009.

That, and it's still too cold, damp, far (not really), might need the car, etc. etc.

I tip my hat to you, Crum. Now I'm going to have to dig out my bike. You've shamed me into it.