A Letter to My Mountain Bike

Dear Mountain Bike, or “the Fisher” as I used to call you–back when you and I were intimate,

I miss you. I miss you a lot. Some days I think of you longingly even as I’m wiping applesauce and banana chunks off the floor yet again. I miss your strong fat tires, your sturdy treads, your frame perfectly sized for me. I miss the feel of your grips, and your (usually) smooth shifting. You are so beautiful and blue, and you are so good-humored about the way I never bother adjusting your tire pressure depending on the terrain.

I miss the smell of my bike gloves and the feel of my helmet, too. The sweaty patch I’d get on my back from the Camelback. The stiffness of the left pedal, the way it never wants to let go of my shoe.

I miss the smell of the woods as we sailed on through. Remember that big rock, the one we got pretty good at? And the rock bridge, the one we nearly mastered before NEMBA rebuilt it? We nearly nailed it for good that one time, remember? Except I was pregnant and had a little belly by then and was afraid to take chances, so I bailed at the last minute.

I know you remember that new trail at Bear Brook, the Wompatuck trail, fast but not overly technical. You probably haven’t forgotten those other Bear Brook trails, the ones I had to carry you on, down by the water. Hah! That was quite a day–or days, I should say.

What about Harold Parker? We had such good times there, especially with the steep drop into the stream and up again. I think you liked that loop as much as I did.

And Lynn! All those delicious possibilities there, once you and I got a little better on the technical stuff. We were getting there, weren’t we? We were jumping logs, hopping tombstones and babyheads, getting better on the downhills right up towards the end.

I know you probably wondered why I eased up those last few rides–why I took you out those weekend mornings to work on smaller, easier projects than usual. You may not have noticed the extra weight on the seat. Bike, you know by now that I was pregnant. You’ve probably heard the pitter-patter and babble and crying from upstairs. That’s Max. I’d like you to meet him one of these days, but right now he’d probably just pull you over onto himself and get hurt.

I miss you. I’m really sorry about all of this basement time you’ve had. I know you know it’s summer–though the trails are too wet to ride on lately–and you’re wondering why you’re still inside. I’m sorry. I’m working on changing that. I’m going to make huge efforts to start seeing you regularly again, even if just for an hour or two each weekend. See, the family thing is keeping me pretty busy, and the husband likes to sleep late, and it’s been kind of hard to get away.

But don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten you. Quite the opposite, in fact. Sometimes I think about stuffing just what I need into the Camelback, checking your tires, and riding away on you, into the woods, just you and me, with the dirt and sweat and rocks and logs and–yeah, ok–occasional blood.

Oh, bike, don’t give up hope.

Your Owner

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