I never like this day, the storm-door day. The older I get, the more I wonder about things I never wondered about before--like will I fall down while I'm walking to the coffee shop? (It's happened.) How much longer will I be able to get upstairs? (So far, so good.) Will I be here when it's time to put the screens back on?
An even worse realization this summer: I shouldn't be riding my bike anymore.
Last spring, I took it to Eddy's over in Stow (as is my annual wont) to be "freshened up" for the riding season (well, my riding season). It took a bit this time. It's a 1995 Schwinn (I bought it at Eddy's back then), and it needed all kinds of stuff this time--from brakes to tires to ... more money than I wanted to spend. But I did.
But I've ridden it only about a half-dozen times this year. Down to Starbucks a few times (about a 1/2 mile), to the barber shop (ditto). I haven't ridden more for a variety of reasons, but the main one? I don't feel safe.
My balance has been an issue the past few years, and although it has affected me principally while I'm walking, just this year I've noticed that it's made me ... unreliable ... on the bike. A danger--to myself, to others.
So ... time to stop.
This is enormously sad for me. I first "stayed up" on a bike when I was in second grade, 1952-53, Amarillo, Texas. What a thrill! (Till I realized I didn't know how to stop and get off. A bit of a crash on the lawn--and a Texas Panhandle lawn does not provide the softest of landings.)
I went through a period in early adulthood when I didn't even have a bike, but, later on, I started riding again (Joyce did, too), helmet and all. When we lived in Aurora (1990-97), I used to ride it (on non-school days) up to Mickey D's in the morning for some coffee. I'd sit and read.
When we moved back to Hudson (fall of 1997), I began riding all over the place. I routinely rode each afternoon down to Starbucks (to sit and sip and read), but when Open Door Coffee Company arrived downtown, I found that I'd really rather be there, and there's no point riding over there. It's only about a quarter mile away, and much of it is downtown sidewalk--not 'posed to ride there (though some doofuses do).
When I was teaching up at Western Reserve Academy (2001-2011), I would ride up and back--sometimes several times a day--in "biking weather." (See pic below.) It's, oh, maybe 3/4 of a mile, total, there and back--and some of it is hilly. I liked that, climbing and descending. Zooming down the hill after classes ... pretty excitin'!
But all of that is over, I fear.
Yesterday, our son and his family were over for a bit. I offered my bike to them; they're thinking about it. Grandson Logan (13) said he didn't want to take my bike from me ... ensuing were my quiet tears that I don't think he saw.
If, ultimately, they can't use the thing, I'll put a note on Facebook, see if anyone wants it.
I would find that comforting, you know? Picturing some happy soul rolling along on that Schwinn, thinking, like me, that it could never end.