When I have free time … when I used to have free time I had liked to drive around looking for old barns and junk shops. You know, not the “fine antique” shops that have already found the antiques and made them look prettier to fit the price tag they put on it. I like the places where the dust on the stuff tells you when the last time someone else found it. The more cobwebs and stuffiness the better, that means there is junk in there that hasn’t seen the sun in decades. This was such a great hobby to fill up what free time I had and it was a fairly cheap treasure hunt, or at least it was until they started to have guys on TV jack up all the prices of these treasures. One of the things I would see often at these places were old bicycles leaning here and hanging there, or just piled up in the back. There are a lot of people who seek out these old bikes and care for them but it the supply has out grown those willing to take them in.
When I see one of these old bikes I can’t help but wonder what years it had seen and how many children laughed and spent all day long with it and growing up with it until it found its way to its resting spot covered with dust, mold, and rust. I also can’t help but reminisce of my childhood bicycle and how many adventures it took me on as well as taught me to overcome many fears. That bicycle I once had given me confidence and a feeling of independence that I never felt at that young age. The bicycle also stayed with me until my teens where I slowly kept walking by it and eventually I became more focused on gas-powered means. My life was changing and that dependable bike has no choice but to watch me pass by from time to time. It had helped me get to a certain stage in my life and now it just waits there where I left it hoping that sooner or later I would take a little time of my increasingly chaotic life and pay attention to it. Just even to check to see if it needs anything or even as little as to clean it off.
Most of us have some story from deep within our past that brings a little smile to our hearts and fond memories of the feeling of flying as we rode down the dirt country road or even to the end of the street in the neighborhood. We didn’t realize it at the time but we needed these things in our lives then and as we grew up we became distracted with life and neglected them. Sooner or later, there will be a time where we will feel frustrated with seeing the bike just sit there or maybe even tired of tripping over it or moving it from one place to another so we will send it off to be somewhere else or just plainly abandon it. Our lives will continue and that bike will still be somewhere just not actively apart of it. After we have our families and our children learn how to ride a bike we will remember our own bicycle and wonder where it is and if it is being taken care of. Then we refocus on our present-day lives and forget about it all over again.
Regardless how hard we try to make it do so, time does not stop for anyone. Our children will also grow older and sooner or later they will lean their bike against the shed or hang them up in the garage. They too will pass by it while they socialize with their friends on their devices and not even realize their bike is even there. As we age with them, we will often be told that we should spend more time with our bicycles in a means to extend the quality of life. However; after so many years of neglect and abandonment our bicycles have been left frail or completely lost. At this late stage in our lives we realize two things about our lives; one being that we wished we would have taken better care of our lives, and also that our children just may treat their bicycles the same way we did and we too will be forgotten.
Have you checked in on your bicycle today?