Cycling Stories

Love for Lavender

October 19, 2020


Love for Lavender

What if I fall and break my leg?  

What if I accidentally hit a cat?  

What if I die in a truck crash?  

What if…  

All of these what-ifs came to my mind whenever my friends told me to go cycling. They all had their bicycles, but growing up, I was always afraid to own one. I didn’t lose this fear until I was 18, during a gap year after high school, while preparing to go to university. 

I frequently collected lavenders in the gardens near my home before we moved to a house far away. Days passed without going to the gardens, and I started missing my lavenders. I had to find the means of getting to the gardens and collecting some.  

Unfortunately, the gardens were in a rural area where no buses reached, so people had to walk or ride there. For me, though, it was too far to walk. Ultimately, I had to choose between two options: I would either give up my love for lavender or overcome my fear of bicycles. 

I so loved the lavender that I could not give up on it, so I purchased a purple (lavender) bicycle and started riding slowly, hoping I’d get over my fear one day. I named my bike “Lavender” and attached a sticker of lavenders to it. 

At first, I could only ride to the lavender gardens because I was still afraid of going to the main roads. But with time, my fear started to fail slowly, and I even rode to the market. Then, I could go cycling with my friends and ride on the main roads. I was careful every time because I did not want to get injured. 

After applying for admission to University, I was awarded a scholarship to study overseas with the faculty of my dreams. Unfortunately, it meant I had to leave Lavender back home. I didn’t even know if there were any lavender gardens where I was going. 

Before the time came to fly away, I consigned my bicycle, Lavender, to someone I trusted a lot: my little sister. She, too, loved lavenders, and whenever I wasn’t around, she could take the bicycle and ride to the gardens. I knew she would take care of Lavender as much as I did. 

I immediately missed the smell of lavenders in my new country, so I visited the florist and purchased a lavender plant in a pot. I also started cycling whenever I had time, and my friends could tell that I’d been on a ride just by the happy expression on my face. 

This is how cycling became my hobby. I can’t wait for the day when I get to return home and ride my bicycle, Lavender, once again. 

Therese Bambe is Rwandese by nationality and currently enrolled as a third-year Dental Medicine student at Ankara University in the Republic of Turkey. When she's not busy completing laboratory assignments, she is a big fan of cycling with friends, as well as the annual "Tour du Rwanda" bicycle race.
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