Monday, January 10, 2011

"Uh, excuse me, your bike could use some oil."

I notice bikes. My husband notices models and makes of cars. I can't always tell you the exact model like my hubby, but a bike is a magnet whether it's locked to a post or hitching a ride on some one's automobile. I just have to acknowledge it with a look.

So when a bike sits forever at a bike rack, through rainy days, or all winter long, neglect piled high as the snowdrifts, I feel for them like a mom concerned for her child running outdoors without a coat. You see, to me a bike is like a friend; treat it with respect and a little maintenance goes a long way. So when I'm cruising along, enjoying the sound of the birds, it upsets me to hear a creaky bike.

I want to stop the cyclist and say, "Uh, excuse me, your bike could use some oil."

But somehow I can't quite do it. And shouldn't either because, frankly, I'm thankful. Thankful they chose to ride and not drive.

I believe the average bike rider uses their bike as a tool—a means to get from here to there. Throw a leg over the saddle and start moving. Some people never clean their cars or forget to regularly change the oil, or wash the grime. It's the same for their bicycles. It will still function—even if the noise is deafening.

But in my reverie I would smile and offer to oil their bike for them, like some grease goddess from heaven. That could be my mission in life, oiling bikes. I'd never be without a job. I could pedal all the time. And that one act could mean one more bicycle could keep moving for a little bit longer.

Now, about that low tire pressure...

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