Sunday, November 4, 2007

Rite -- Wrong -- of Passage

For a while, I rode my bike everywhere and contemplated never even buying another subway metrocard.

But a few weeks ago, I had to crash at my brother's place -- a nice duplex apartment on Manhattan's annoying but safe Upper East Side -- for about a week. I had a big cotton duffel bag full of clothes with me, and you know, shaving stuff and shampoo and whatnot. The night I was all set to ride home, it started pouring rain. Like serious, torrential, biblical, knock-small-children-to-the-ground rain. So instead of riding my bike, with all my stuff getting soaked in a cotton bag, I borrowed an umbrella from my brother and took the subway, leaving my bike locked up in front of his swanky building. I also left some of my stuff at his place, because it turned out to be too much to carry in one trip (I'd added to the pile of stuff gradually over the several days I was crashing there for some reason). Anyway, I figured I'd come get the bike and the rest of my stuff the following evening after work.

But the next night, it rained again. And then I was busy and the UES is surprisingly far out of the way when you're not already on your bike (or in a cab), so I ended up putting it off for a few days during which I began to experience severe bike-withdrawal. Seriously. To say that I missed riding my bike would be an incredible understatement. Up till then, I hadn't really known how truly addicted I'd become. I mean, I hadn't experienced cravings for anything on that kind of scale since I had to give up smoking pot years ago. I needed to ride my bike. I was unable to concentrate on work. Walking -- walking! -- around town, I'd stop and stare at other people's bikes locked to street signs etc. with longing.

Finally, I had an evening with enough time free to head up to my brother's place, get the rest of my stuff, get back on my beloved bike and come home. When I got to his building, the rear wheel of my bike was gone.


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