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
2 thoughts on “Goodbye to Cycling”
Wise decision Bruce. I miss you!
I miss you, Mary. You and Tim come to Ghent!