Cycling Stories

Cycle of a Lifetime

September 7, 2020


Cycle of a Lifetime

It was cold. I was freezing. But what could I do? Turning the pedals was the only thing for an amateur cyclist like me on a winter evening.  

I still cycled on. Why? Cycling pushed away the cold. Slowly, it gave me the warmth I so badly needed. 
But, it was not for long. I crashed my BMX into a snowman, which I toppled and fell. Still, I felt no pain nor wrath. How could I? My only bike was lying in the snow, writhing in pain. I could feel its suffering. 
The sight of two burst tires gave me flight. The whole idea of having to repair my bike was horrifying. What else could I do, though? I didn’t have a penny to my name to purchase a new one, and Daddy … gosh! If he found out that the family’s sole bike was crashed, the devil would be aroused in him. He’d kill me. I knew he was capable. 
I pulled myself onto my knees and crawled toward the bike. But I didn’t get there. I couldn’t. Between me and the bike stood a water bottle. Desire made me crave a sip. But it was broken and empty! A crooked crack ran through its side. My only water bottle was broken. 
I crawled further, wanting to get closer and have a look at the bike, but I didn’t reach it. My face fell. My eyes swelled. Slowly, the tears rolled, headed toward my heart. It beat hard, really hard. I was mourning. But why couldn’t I?  

The headlight was missing. No! It was there, lying beside the bike in a thousand pieces. 
The sight of its coiled spokes broke my heart. I was overwhelmed, and I couldn’t stand the agony. Breathless.  

What else could I do? Wasn’t it natural? Isn’t it normal? Don’t things like this happen everywhere? And every day? Don’t we often place our hopes in people and things that end up hurting us and breaking our hearts?  
How many times are cyclists injured by their bikes? Many. And what do they do? They get up. They rise. They stand. They face dangerous paths—uneven terraces. 

They get on their bikes. They move ahead. They ride again. They all crave that ride of a lifetime and treat their bikes as loved ones, as their partners. Simply because that’s what they are.  

Bikes are our companions. Together, we face plains, valleys, and blind corners. A cyclist and their bicycle are one. They enjoy a lifetime of riding together just as they are meant to be.  

How wonderful! 

Jonny Rhymes is a Kenyan poet and author whose favorite cousin exposed him to cycling, which he'll always be grateful for. This piece was inspired by the rough roads all cyclists face and their determination.
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