Heroes

There isn’t much that I wouldn’t do for a bicycle.

They pass me every day on my walk to work: a whir and the click of switched gears, a breeze across my face and suddenly they are in front of me, churning pedals and disappearing over the hill. Sometimes they’re girls in skirts and leggings, frizzy curls and mint Burt’s Bees chapstick. Sometimes they’re middle-aged men, with sleek neon yellow helmets and black spandex. Sometimes they’re gangsters in over-sized jerseys and undersized bikes, their bodies swaying over the seat to make up for lost momentum. But usually, they’re ninjas.

The ninjas are the ones I envy. There is no way to discern the gender of a ninja: their clothing, while usually thin and tight, is layered like a fine tiramisu, beiges, whites and chocolates peeking above a tattered belt, which is itself beneath a backpack, which is itself covered in buttons and patches for various worthy causes (and the green grass grew all around and around, and the green grass grew all around). They bike effortlessly no matter the terrain, and their calves bulge.

“What the hell do you do for a living?” I want to ask them as they fly by in a swirl of autumn leaves. “How can I be like you? Also, is it true that you never sweat?”

But they’re gone before my mouth can even open, and I struggle to loosen my scarf in the wind, remove my coat which is always too warm after the first twenty minutes of walking, and wind up tangled in a mess of headphones and handbags at the bottom of the hill.

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7 Comments

  1. My main concern is that I have no where to put one. My apartment building doesn’t have a bike rack, and we don’t really have any extra space inside our place.

    But I think I’m getting one anyway.

  2. There are about 9 bikes for every person in my house. It’s less charming than you might think. And my ancient bike from the 50s weighs about as much as all the other titanium jerk bikes in the house combined.

  3. PS, someone please find the time for me to reattach my rear break and adjust the front derailleur so that it will switch out of second.

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