June 03, 2008

My Bike And I

My bike and I are going through some tough times. It's gotten pretty ugly and, honestly, I don't know if we'll ever resolve our differences. I hate to air out my dirty laundry, but you probably should know that we haven't talked to each other for months; we haven't even so much as looked each other in the eyes/spokes. I'm scared that we may break up. Irreconcilable differences. Creative differences. I'm not sure what the press release is going to say yet. Whatever it turns out to be, you'll probably be able to read through the lines. Basically, I hate the bitch.

I was flipping through TV channels the other day and ran across a show on E! Entertainment called "The World's Most Expensive Celebrity Divorces". I'm not one for watching this type of over-dramatic hooey, but something got me to pay attention for a few minutes. At first I thought it was pretty ridiculous. I didn't even put down the remote control because I knew I'd be switching channels soon and why waste the extra energy to pick the remote back up off the table six inches in front of me. But it was somewhere amidst the Drew Barrymore saga that I realized what kept me watching: Every one of these cases was a reflection of my relationship with my bike.

We were a typical case of love, my bike and I. I had lost my previous bike in a freak accident when she was stolen from my locked garage. Though I had a short span of grieving, the insurance money sure helped me feel better. At first I felt a little dirty, how a few dollars in my pocket could erase all the good years of the relationship. But eventually I got over it and continued on with my life - as we always do.

sexyI wasn't looking to find a new bike, my bike found me. It was love at first sight. Her sleek black frame, her carbon fiber body - she had the looks of a goddess. She was too good for me, out of my league. Every time I saw her sleek lines I couldn't believe she was actually mine. These types of bikes don't happen to guys like me.

Strangers would look at her and say things like "wow, she sure is a beauty!" And then they'd look at me, my slight non-muscular frame, my chicken legs - and they'd mumble quietly to themselves "why the hell is she with him?" and justify it with, "he must have a lot of money. Or big gearing."

But it was more than her looks - much more than the physical attraction. We worked together, my bike and I. Like Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley in the good years, we were made to be together. Things just meshed.

I remember the first time I rode her. I remember the warmth in my
loins as I slowly stretched my leg across her bosom. I can still
feel the way the silky saddle caressed my inner thigh. You never
forget your first.

And the bond? It was like she was psychic, forever knowing when I wanted to slow down or speed up before I even figured it out. She quietly controlled the road and made me feel great about my cycling - it was if I didn't have to put in any effort at all. Like she rode herself. She made me a better cyclist. She completed me.

Those were the happy days. I was drunk with joy, floating in the clouds of amour. Just the mere thought of my bike would awaken the mass of butterflies otherwise laying dormant in my stomach. I had a new life and a new love. Most humans don't get to experience this feeling very often. I knew I was lucky.

We spent a few very wonderful years together. But, as things happen, life began to change. We rode a lot, some might say too much. Slowly her sheen began to fade. Dirt piled up, paint began to crack. I didn't dote on her as much. My riding style developed and I began to have doubts. Was it the saddle that began to hurt or did our bodies not mesh anymore? Did I really want a bike with this big of a top tube?

Still, we continued to ride more and more. So I tried dressing her up. New handlebars, new tires. I cleaned her meticulously like I used to do in our days of early love, scrubbing and caressing each of her tubes and crevasses. I doted in desperation.

All the while we trained for Ironman. Though we had some rocky roads on our way to Ironman Lake Placid, we did it and, more importantly, we did it together. I even thought it brought us closer. It seemed to rekindle a long lost spark. So we decided to do Ironman Arizona.

The training for Arizona wasn't nearly as difficult as Lake Placid. But, in hindsight, I realize it was just an indication of us falling apart. We had extremely long rides together. It was just the two of us - my bike and I - out on the road for hours on end. There was nothing to distract us from our own company. Sure it was fine, but that's all it was - just fine.

There were no moments of great joy, no laughing and blathering like we use to do. We were both in our own worlds doing our own thing. No longer did she ride herself, no longer did she seem to understand me or my body. We were two separate beings who happened to be together.

We didn't ignore each other on purpose, but we didn't make the effort to connect. Endless stretches of silence were interrupted by meaningless banter.

This hurts, I'd tell her, but she wouldn't answer.

My body hurts, I'd say a little louder. I wanted attention, I wanted her to care.

Oh, she'd reply and continue rolling down the street.

I swear she'd roll into the potholes on purpose. Oops, sorry, she might say. But I didn't believe her.

We made it to Ironman Arizona and things took a turn from bad to worse. It was the most challenging bike ride I've ever had. It was hot and windy and painful. Every minute was harder than the last. I didn't want to continue and, it seemed apparent, neither did she. We weren't working as one - we hadn't been for awhile.

I've lost the love and it's nowhere to be found. We didn't leave the love in Tempe, because thelove was lost long before then. We were faking it out in Arizona. Just going through the motions.

Ironman Arizona was a sympathy fuck - our swan song.

As I said, we haven't even talked to each other since then. In fact, I haven't told anybody this, but I moved out. It just got too difficult for the two of us to stay in one place so I have been staying at Catherine's for the past month. Most recently, my bike left town. She got shipped away for a paint replacement or some sort of physical overhaul. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever see her again. There's a good chance she'll never come back but will be replaced with another bike. A younger bike, one with more life and spunk.

I don't know what's going to happen. It is at once both sad and a relief. Though I feel guilty for saying this, I feel as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I just signed up for an aquathlon. It will be my first event without my bike close by. Maybe I'll miss her when I'm there, maybe I'll think of all those days of yore when our love was so young and free. But I doubt it. At this point, I'll be happy to never have to ride her again. My bike and I - we're done.


Anonymous said...

You heartless pig! ;)

Cat said...

your descriptions give a whole new meaning to the term "bike porn".

glad that bitch it out of our lives (though i actually kinda miss the hag and i know "el poco grande" is lonesome beyond belief!

cherelli said...

Ah, such sweet sorrow...

Brilliant post.

ChrisM said...

Reading Cat's comment, was your bike nicknamed "padma" by any chance?

Flatman said...


E-Dub said...

Dude... I laughed and I cried! I can't wait to see where it all goes from here. They always try to make a come back.

Jen said...

Kiss and make up...you know you want to :)

Robin said...

That's the saddest thing I've read in a long time. I think I'm closing my ears now, I'm still in the honeymoon stage here...

Jen in Budapest said...

Ok, you could be a writer. quite descriptive, you are.