I Want to Ride My Bicycle, I Want to Ride My Bike

Oh, to be thirty again.

How sad is that.

I got my bicycle back from Dick’s today after work.  I haven’t ridden it in about thirteen years, so I figured it needed a tune up.  The tech told me there was nothing wrong with the bike repair-wise; it just needed cleaning up and adjusting after being in the garage for so long.

And new tires.  The old tires were suffering from dry rot.

I got her home, though, safe and sound.  And I had to mow the lawn.  Always something.

After getting a couple of areas of the yard done, I noticed the bag wasn’t filling up much between my usual dumping spots.  Come to think of it, the grass hadn’t grown that much since last week.  The rest of the lawn could wait until Monday.

It was bicycle time!

Sine the move last October, I live only a few blocks away from the back entrance to the Big Creek Reservation, part of Cleveland’s beautiful Metropark system.  I hopped on my bike (ok, it took two tries) and peddled the few streets to the park’s back entrance.

I was a little shaky at first, but the ride smoothed out after the first block.  At the back entrance, they have a gate to keep cars and such out, but pedestrians and bicycles can easily enter.  I made it through without having to stop.  Over a bridge and through a parking lot, I found myself at the trail head of the multi-purpose path.

I was tempted.  I wanted to start.  “Just a little bit,” I thought.

Then part of me spoke up.  “You still have to make it back home, and a lot of that stretch is uphill…”

That part of me was my chest.  I wasn’t sweating too much, and my heart was fine.  My legs were feeling it a bit, but I think a seat adjustment would take care of them.  It was my lungs.  I was breathing way to hard.  My lungs were feeling every smoke I ever had since i was twenty one.

I made it home.  The hills weren’t too bad, and should improve once I improve my gear shifting.  My street sign came soon enough, and I was back in my driveway.  I had to remind myself to walk to cool down after parking the bike.  My excursion was maybe twenty minutes, and I doubt I put much wear on the new tires, but I felt pretty good.

Except for my breathing.  My breathing was still heavy.

So, I guess that settles it.  I have to quit.  Again.  Smoking, I mean.  I’ve done it before, and once, I was quite good at it.

I like bicycling better.  May even lead to picking up my saxophone again.  That would be cool.  I miss music.  Playing music.  I hear it all the time at the Rocksino, but playing music.  I’ve got one pack left.  I can’t bring myself to throw them away, but I do well if I don’t buy more.  At least for a few days.  Then I need to find something to do with my hands.  I might get that novel written after all.


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