Goodbye to Cycling

I’m not going to ride a bicycle anymore.  My friend Baziel will soon be taking Betty on his commutes to university in Ghent.

I’ve had a strange cycling career.  It didn’t exist until I was 47.  Never had a bike as a kid.  A decade or more later, I started leading short rides with the London Cycling Club in Canada.

In 2012, I had a blood clot in my left leg which I happily survived.  But I started noticing my balance was off, and it’s remained so.

It had been my goal to ride the Tour du Canada – a bike ride across my country.  In 2018 I was 69.  “It’s now or never, Bruce!”  I trained hard.

I lasted four days.  The fitness was okay.  The bike skills were not.  I fell several times and couldn’t do the slow motion maneuvering in downtown Vancouver.  And I was terrified of the semi-trailer trucks blasting by three metres to my left.  I quit.

My right hand shook for weeks.  The PTSD was alive in me … and it still lingers.

As I contemplated my move to Belgium, one task was clear: “What do I keep and what do I give away?”  I felt into the question and my quiet voice said “Take Betty across the ocean.”  So I did.

“How many times have you ridden in Ghent?” you ask.  “Zero,” I answer.  Right now I feel a twinge of embarrassment about that but it’s being magically overwhelmed by a smile.

I’ve watched cyclists ply their trade in Ghent centrum.  Navigating the tram tracks, the approaching trams, and slow-moving pedestrians.  I shake my head with wonder and really get that I no longer have what it takes to do that.  Plus I don’t want to do that.

Did I mention “strange”?  Especially with me smiling in the moment.  Prevailing wisdom probably says that I should rise to the occasion, “gird my loins”, be a man. 

Take on the challenge!

You can do it!



No … I don’t want to

Just that

2 thoughts on “Goodbye to Cycling

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