Thursday, 3 May 2012

An Ode to my Bike

In the last year or so I sorta have begun a slight extramarital affair with a slender framed, rubber wearing, she-goddess. My bike. Oh bike, shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. It is a weird one to be honest. I've had 'Stella' for nearly ten years but only truly discovered her greatness recently. Let's start at the beginning and I'll divulge the tale of how Stella really did get her groove back, in my books at least.

I wanted a bike to cycle in and out of college so Mammy and Daddy Ginger Blog Man gladly provided one for my 18th birthday. I'm afraid a car has always been slightly out of reach for me and now that I've moved to a new country it seems even further away. Sure how am I  supposed to even take the test, aus Deutsch? Ich denke nicht. So anyways things didn't start off well for Stella and I. I lent her to some college mate before we had truly had a chance to integrate. When I go to retrieve her from said mate I find to my horror that he has completely banjaxed her handle bars. They loosen and nearly fall off after a couple of cycles. He managed to do this by going over a speed bump in his neighborhood at a tremendous velocity. I wonder if my friend was a very literal person and maybe misunderstood the purpose of speed bumps due to their misleading antonym. Should they be rechristened 'Slow Down Bumps' for the uneducated?  At the time in my eyes my beautiful new bike was ruined. If I was wiser I could have invested in some tools for general up keep and maintenance but as I was in college, my prerogative for my cash-flow was a couple of tins of beans for sustenance and the rest used to consume alcohol (I'm sorry Mumsie and Papa, I've changed now I swear).  So after that, needless to say Stella began gathering dust in the bike shed.

Years later I tried to resurrect her from this perpetual immobility and start cycling to work. I figured she would aid in me attaining a few extra minutes in bed. How wrong as I, my route had so many stop lights and terrible rush hour traffic that it actually took me longer to get into work than if I  had walked. Poor Stella, back in the bike shed she went gathering dust. Even crueler again when Husband and I finally moved in together I abandoned Stella at my old apartment. I kept saying to myself that I would pop over and eventually pick her up. In the end it wasn't until Husband bought his bike that I finally decided to get my shit together and route out old Stella. It had been almost two years since we moved into our new place. I just wanted to get some closure on it, Husband was convinced she would be gone, robbed or moved on to the old scrap-heap in sky. The whole journey over I wondered if she was still there, if she was would she even forgive me for my desertion or if I would be able to look her in the handlebars? Stella please forgive me.

True to form there she was still mustering along exactly where I left her, apart from the chain rust, two flat tires and large amount of cobwebs she was in mint condition. Thank you South County Dublin for your safety and lack of tracksuit wearing 'Jack the lads'.

I walked her to the nearest petrol station and inflated her tires. I cycled her home and she handled like a dream. I suddenly relaised I loved my bike so much and had been such an almighty douche to her. I decided then to never abandon her again until she has had her time or wants to leave me (Please don't ever Stella). We do everything together now. Go to the cinema, visit friends, cycle through the countryside and even have personal jokes. All those faults that made me think negatively about her now make me love her more.  I look forward to that time once a month where I need to tighten Stella's handle bars because they've started to turn upwards and I'm having trouble reaching the breaks. That I know that if you pull her front breaks you might need to push them back out as at times they can lock. That whilst she has over 18 speeds I only ever use one. I even bought her a bell, it makes her sound so happy, oh how we laugh together now. With our move to Zurich there's probably no better place for our rejuvenated life together, this place is so bike friendly and it is rather unlikely that Husband and I will choose to travel by taxi over our bicycles considering the ridiculous cost. A new life together.

So Stella here's a song below in your honor, I decided not to go with the obvious Queen's ode to cycling rather Pink Floyd's 'Bike' from their first album.  I like the references to Ginger Bread Men and that a mouse that's called 'Gerald'.  I hope you like it and I promise to never let you gather dust in the bike shed ever again.


  1. With a bright and energetic color scheme, the Dreamcycle is fun cruiser that really makes a statement California Bikes.
    cruiser bikes

    1. Eh thanks Helena but I think you might have missed the point of this post

  2. Cycling to work is a good one! Kudos for deciding to do that routine. :) Also, you have a lovely bike, no wonder you have fallen hard for her. :)