Let me introduce you to my dear old friend. We came together about 20 years ago. She has seen me through many many miles and several life changes. We have both changed a bit over time. We have gotten old and don’t work as well as we used to, but still, I think we work well for our ages. Our frames have changed a bit, as that’s what happens when kids come into the picture. We may not look as pretty as the new spangled young gals, or go as fast, but I think we still do okay.
In the old days, as I call it the B.C. era (Before Children), we traveled 50 miles from Salem to the Coast. We explored the entire perimeter of Crater Lake together, and we rode 100 miles on a Cycle Oregon trip. Those have only been a few out of many trips that we have enjoyed together. Our friendship is almost always exhilarating, there have only been a few times when we haven’t gotten along. Like the time on the bridge in Independence when she didn’t like riding on the narrow sidewalk. She bucked me right off like an angry horse.
I don’t blame her if she is mad at me now. I have ignored her for a very long time. I just got her out for the first time this summer. She has been sitting in that dark, scary garage with nothing to do. There have been no hills at the coast, no flower filled fields in the Silverton hills, no ferry rides across the Willamette River. I have been too busy, and maybe a bit lazy. I dusted her off and filled her tires with fresh air. She must have been happy to be out because she didn’t seem to hold a grudge. We got along perfectly despite her ground down old gears, and a chain that needs new oil.
We flew around corners and chugged up hills together, enjoying every second of the ride. We explored the town a bit, getting to know each other over again. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. The sky was a brilliant blue, just like her. All sorts of wonderful memories came rushing back as we rode together. When the ride ended, I felt extremely dumb. Why on earth did I ignore her for so long?