New Bike, Old Bike

December 11, 2005

My old bike is feeling neglected. It stands under the trees marking the car’s parking place and gets covered with leaves and dust like it’s always done. But now it feels neglected because the new bike, which is bigger, stronger, and shinier, is the one that stands close to the building, and gets taken out for a ride at every opportunity. Over the weekend, I parked the new bike next to the old bike under the tree. I’m sure they exchanged words. Now the new bike is equally dusty, but it still gets taken out for a ride and today it is going to be parked in the pride of place near the building again. Poor old bike, it’s going to have to remain resentfully under the trees, guarding the car parking space, while its former glory turns to rust.

My new bike is now three weeks old. It’s still only got 160 km on the odometer. But now I’m getting used to it. I no longer feel so shaky and I don’t have to spend all my energy concentrating on which gear I’m in. It’s almost become automatic to shift to a lower gear when I brake, and shift to a higher gear when the engine begins to pull. I don’t even have to really listen to the engine, I can just feel when it wants to move up.

It does feel good to ride a bike that has some power – after six years on my old bike. This fellow goes purring up to 50 without a thought and won’t allow me to use the fifth gear until I’ve exceeded that, which I very rarely do. My old bike use to struggle with all 60 cc of its engine, to hit 45, and then it would behave like a bucking bronco even on a relatively flat road.

Oh, and I’ve managed to keep my new bike on the vertical in the last few days. Wish me luck!

PS: My new bike is temporarily christened Bluebird, because it’s blue and it’s not a Thunderbird. I’m trying to think of a better name, but it might not happen.

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