Monday, July 16, 2007

The Dearly Departed: My Poor Bicycle

This morning I awoke (at noon) to find my bicycle stolen. Ack! That's what I get for using a cheap Walmart chain to secure a valuable item. The thieves didn't even have to cut it; they just pulled and the traitorous links separated without protest. They left the chain, broken, on the ground.

That's my brother riding it in this picture. It was a 1962 Huffy; an English bicycle with a 3-speed hub. Completely irreplaceable - a collector's item these days. I liked it because I hate dérailleurs; with a 3-speed hub there's no chain derailing and you can change gears at any time, even at a dead stop. Despite half a century of age and neglect, the bicycle was in perfect working order. It had brand-new tires and I'd just installed all new cables.

I actually noticed the chain out of place a second before I put two and two together: "Hmmm... If I'm holding the chain... and the chain is broken... and it was on my bicycle last night... and today it was on the ground... Holy Crap! WHERE'S ME BICYCLE?"

It's a strange feeling one gets at this moment of realization. It reminded me of when I was three and let go of my balloon on accident. As I watched it disappear into the sky, I somehow understood that there was nothing that could be done to retrieve it. Something ought to be done - yet nothing could be done.

You let go of your balloon - it goes up and away. Simple physics. You leave your bicycle chained outside in a neighborhood of juvenile delinquents - it gets vandalized. Cause and effect.
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