Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Life's Cycles


On Saturday I dropped into Big-W for just a few minutes when an announcement was made that several display bicycles had been marked down to half price at the front of the store. For several months I had been watching a certain bicycle that I felt suited to my requirements, with a view to purchasing one when we moved to our new home with its surrounding parklands and cycleways.

Coolly and casually not rushing, I joined several other shoppers who were also coolly and casually not rushing to check out these bargains. There stood two children's bicycles and—I couldn't believe my eyes—my chosen bicycle, reduced from $248 to just $100. My hands reached out and wrapped around the hand grips—my Prize in my grasp.

It must be about 17 years since I have ridden a bicycle. The early compulsory chunky helmets, the style of higher crossbars on ladies' cycles, and increasingly busy roads had taken away the desire to keep fit by cycling. Now, with changed circumstances, all I had to do was mount this bicycle and if it felt comfortable I had first option to purchase my bike at a super bargain price.

The surrounding little crowd was watching me, with a few comments in the air stating interest in it and one definite, "If she doesn't take it, I will have it for sure."  All eyes were on me, this youthful spirit with the not-so-youthful body. It might have been a different story if I had mounted it from the left side, but I took it where I was, on its right. With my heavy handbag swinging wildly from my right shoulder I swung my left leg over the frame.

Uh oh; something had changed over those years. The joints were not so supple nor the balance as good.  Maybe I could swing the leg back, get balanced and try again, but my left foot became tangled between the seat and parcel frame!  Hopping about trying to free it and keep upright, the inevitable happened and CRASH, down I went on top of my handbag with the bike, foot still entangled, crashing down on top!

The crowd roared—or so it seemed to me! Several people hovered over me, untangling and helping me up, showing great concern and checking me out to see if I was hurt or in shock. They appeared stunned when as soon as I was on my feet I dropped the handbag, grabbed the handle grips, and tried again. Breaths were drawn and held...

Success! I straddled the bicycle and it felt good! Everything about it felt manageable and comfortable and my decision was made. The little crowd seemed uncertain whether to cheer, express disappointment, or concern for this mad woman.

Maybe my spirit is younger than my body...but I intend doing something about that now!