16“I love how a bicycle relates to the figure and exploring what each is specifically to the person who rides it…They are worn and customized uniquely…”
Taliah Lempert, Bicycle Portraitist
Pros often get team bikes in time for the start of their base training, but amateur squads are often just now enjoying the feel of a new frame on February roads. Swap meets are common at this time of year, as well as at season’s end – so in with the new, out with the old.
No matter how excited I am about each year’s new bike and no matter how long I labor at a bike swap selling an old frame, when it comes time for the new owner to walk away with my bicycle, I always shed unexpected tears. Crying about the sale or gift of a bike is my final farewell to an old friend and all the memories that came with it.
Unlike Greek, English only has one word for love which doesn’t adequately describe my love of my bikes. My bike becomes a family member, someone I’d sacrifice for and am passionate about and which adapts me to its style even as I embrace it for what it is. Not that every frame, like every relative, is as deserving as another of my affection. Yet regardless of flaws, or ill fit, or too much flex or too little responsiveness, the bike still becomes the bearer of hours of experiences. Then there’s the special velo, the ride that is sweeter than all. I was racing for years before I had a custom frame, the TT bike that in powerful gusts of prairie wind glided like a sail in every direction. I don’t know about deserved but certainly this frame was greatly desired.
Even so, my favorite bicycle ever is a stock frame with speedy cornering angles that whipped me through turns so fast, at first I had to re-learn how to ride it. As a vessel that sticks with me through sorrows and joys, each bike warrants loyalty. Had I the desire of a personal museum, all my bikes of the past would hang with dignity in retirement. Now their wheels give memories to another set of legs.
Prayer for Bicycle Resources
“Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction.
And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit…was in the wheels.”
We are thankful for our frames. We ask for connections to form between the bike have’s and have-nots and for everyone to own a ride.
Ponder What is my favorite bicycle and why? Affirm I see certain traits in common between rider and bicycle type. Watch for ways to read others by their bicycling language.
16“Statement” section by Taliah Lempert, Artist www.bicyclepaintings.com
17New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation