One of the most curious things about my tumbled yesterday has been the nature of the glumness I have been feeling about my incapacitated bicycle. It isn’t the cost of the repairs – saddle, possibly a new derailleur and certainly a new derailleur hanger – that troubles me (although I’m not thrilled by it) or even the fact that, by golly, it just had to be my pride-and-joy that took the hit, my first in 16 years.
I just hate having any of my bicycles broken down and incapacitated. My bicycles are personal to me, always have been. They represent something, many things, and to see one of them with its saddle badly askew on its bent rails and the derailleur dangling crookedly makes me feel as though my wings have been clipped – and that hurts, above and beyond the physical battering from the pavement; the insult added to injury. The fact that I am fortunate to have two other bikes, both of which are in good working order, mitigates this sense of deprivation, but can’t entirely dispel it. I love all my bicycles. Each of the three represents something special – the rugged Thorn eXp expedition tourer that can carry me to the farthest ends of the earth, if I choose; the beautifully responsive Pegoretti that allows me to soar up hills as though I had wings; the elegant Enigma randonneur, in beauty and design my Platonic ideal of a bicycle. Together they make a kind of whole. Not to have them all in working order is troubling.
Thankfully I am already moving much more fluidly and feeing better that I did yesterday – I was very lucky, and am very grateful – but I know that I will feel much, much better still once the new saddle is mounted and the derailleur is hanging in perfect alignment and I know that I can just go out and take it for a spin whenever I please. That’ll complete the cure. I hate having the broken bike hanging over me. But putting this whole thing behind me could take a while yet for I am supposed to be going overseas again fairly soon, week after next, and given everything else on my plate between now and then I doubt I’ll be able to order everything I need and find the time to fix the noble steed before I go. But I’ll sure be happy to be on it again when I get back.