If Giles Had a Bike*

After breakfast, I strap on my helmet and push my bike out onto the drive and up to the road. Lately it is chilly, not so much that I need gloves but enough that sometimes I question my judgement to have left them at home. It helps that I’m not moving very fast. You’ll remember we live on the side of a mountain. Well, hill. A hill that takes itself very seriously. It is absolutely unforgiving in its grade and unevenness. Every morning I think, I am just too tired for that hill. Every morning my thigh muscles agree (and then suggest a doughnut). It’s mental discipline that gets me onto the pedals and, eventually, to the top of the hill. Hills, really. The entire trip is uphill.

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Riding means there is joy to be had on either side of the work day. It takes me half as long to get home, a speedy 12 minutes of breezy coasting. Even on the front end, it’s a relief to be AT work, hill happily behind me. Those are the obvious thrills. But one of my favorite parts of the day is the accidental glimpse of my bike leaning in the rack. Unintentionally, I have a vampire slaying bike.

The idea is perfect for fall really. Crisp, brown leaves tangle up in the spokes. There has been one weathered leaf in my black metal basket for a week now. Behind the leaf, and the basket, is a wooden stake. Strapped to the basket with zipties, it’s there to keep the basket from bouncing against the frame of the bike, metal grinding into metal. But maybe it’s really there for the rides home in the ever earlier darkness. What’s just outside the beam of my headlight anyway? What’s around the next bend? What’s that rustling in the leaves?

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My bike doesn’t have a name. Doesn’t need one really, not with that stake strapped to the front. A glimpse of it on a midday walk imbues the day with a sense of danger, suggests an uncertain outcome, provides an alter-ego. Who wouldn’t ride to work?

* As I am a librarian, this is the obligatory Buffy the Vampire slayer reference though I suppose this post could just have easily been called The Biking Dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Responses

  1. I wish I could ride my bike to work! I also wish I could bring my dogs to work. Or just not work at all. I need to win the lotto.

  2. I meant to ride to work (10 miles) this year but after it finally cooled down, it got too dark and I don’t want to bike in the dark. I have lights, but I still wouldn’t feel safe enough.

  3. I fucking love you.

  4. Great post. My thighs often suggest a doughnut as well. Guessing it’s a thing….

  5. Poor Future RR. Some day she will complain about how slow her hovercraft only to be told that her mama used to bike to work barefoot in the snow uphill both ways!

    I shall not suggest Joyce or Miss Calendar for your bike’s name. But Ripper could work.

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