It’s a sunny day, cool and windy, and I finished my homework early, so I decided to take a bicycle ride. I had to really work myself up for it, and I gave myself a thousand reasons not to take it. It’s too windy. I walked a lot of miles yesterday and my body needs a break. I would rather read. I’m too tired. It took me a good two hours and the nudging of my friend A. to head down to the basement, roll my bike out to the alley, and take a ride.
I think I’m a little scared of it, to be honest, which sounds weird, but there you go. My body is still a wasteland of fatigue and lingering side effects, including twitchy eyes and some issues with balance, and I get a little anxious about whether I can safely ride, and, more than that, if I’ll enjoy it. Because what if cancer took away how much I love riding a bicycle? When I type it out like that it sounds crazy, but cancer has ruined so many things so quickly, I don’t know, maybe it can ruin that, too.
Only one way to find out, so I pedaled the long way over to Lake Montebello to do a lap or two out of the way of cars, hoping that would nudge out enough of the fear to let the fun in. And it did, sort of. The ride over was thankfully uneventful, except for those favorite events on a bike, the how-you-doins. Lots of folks are out in the sunshine today, and it felt good to be amongst them. It’s a beautiful day to be alive, I thought to myself, and it was. I did a loop around the lake, putting it a super easy gear into the headwind. Wow, this is harder than I remembered it being. But it gets easier as you do it, if I remember correctly, and here I was, doing it, making it easier next time. I stopped for a rest before my second lap and snapped this picture of my dear bicycle up against this sign about the history of Montebello, first some guy’s big estate, then the city’s water filtration plant. I don’t have the energy to pay attention to much yet, but it’s coming back, that old curiosity peeking through the haze. I’m back there, I swear, and I’m recovering.
I got back on my bike for a second lap, greeted the same people walking for a second time, and then headed back, heart and lungs pumping as I went up the lowliest of inclines. The only way back is up the hill, and it felt good to get out there today, even if it didn’t leave me flush with pleasure. Blue skies, sunshine, time, and back in the saddle. I’ll take it.