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Mar

30

2008

If Your Bike Could Talk by Keith Hallgren

at 8:45 pm posted by Molly

If Your Bike Could Talk
I was born in England in 1955 and without even seeing the land of my birth, travelled to Canada via ship to what has now been my home for the last 53 years and I expect that someday, I will die here. Canada is a very nice country except for the fact it gets so cold in the winter we are often stuck indoors.

It would be nice to go to England and travel the roadways although they are probably much different than they were when I was a young and I expect that the bicycles there are a lot flashier and prettier.

At one time I thought an old lady like me would not even rate a second glance but that has changed.

I was very beautiful in my youth and was the object of desire for many a young man and although I have always been a simple gal, was little too expensive for their tastes. One younger man finally did pay the price that was asked and took me home.

This strapping young man immediately proceeded to strip me of my skirts and as a proper English girl, I was shocked. He then took me outside, and rode me harder than I ever thought was possible and must admit, I really enjoyed it.

This became a regular occurrence as the young man would pick me up and take me out to the country and ride me for hours on end without stopping and I must say, he had a lot more stamina than most. The other men would bring their girls and we would all ride and race together but my man was far stronger than any of them, and even as he got older, he was still able to thrash many of those young upstarts and their pretty new girls.

The man’s wife never seemed to mind the time we spent together and although there were times his attention was focused elsewhere and we could not go out He never neglected me and made sure I was always well provided for and in return,  I was always ready when needed me and I never felt as if I was being kept as I knew the man loved me

Unlike so many, this fellow was faithful and despite my advancing age (and his) we never failed to find pleasure in each other. I have to say that at some 70 years old, he was still a fine looking man and think our time together had kept him fit and strong while many of his peers either withered, got fat, or simply died.

When I saw the new girl I briefly thought she had been brought home to replace me, as she was shinier and prettier, and good god, was she fast. I think that the silly man thought my weight, which had never changed in all these years might slow him down. The man started spending a lot of time with the new girl and I was worried I might be abandoned but I discovered it was nothing like that.

My man would come and take me out every Sunday and we would go for long rides together, but never at the often frightful and delightful pace we both enjoyed in our youth. Because of our slower pace, the man’s wife even joined us from time to time… they seemed very happy and I don’t think there is anything nicer than being able to spend time doing things with the people you love.

It was a dark day when the man took the new girl and left the house never to return…they had gone racing, which I had finally approved of since I realized that perhaps, I was a little old for such things.
But something had gone terribly, terribly wrong.

I think part of it was my fault because I may have taught the man things that worked for me that did not work for the new girl as we older English girls can be a little quirky. They say he may have forgotten that we were very different and that besides being able to go faster, she also stopped much faster although I don’t think she meant to throw him off and into the tarmac.

He was killed and I never saw the new girl again but truly hope that she wasn’t scrapped.

After that I found myself moving from place to place and finally found myself alone in the dingy basement of a strange shop. After nearly a year of sitting in the corner I began to think that there weren’t any men left that would find an old thing like me to be attractive. In all honesty, I was looking a little dishevelled and could not have compared my looks to the shiny new girls.

I felt that I was nothing more than a piece of scrap waiting to be crushed and this is the stuff of all our nightmares, since so few of us are ever saved.

I had almost given up hope of ever being rescued from the dungeon that had become my home when a young and very fit young man came over to the corner where I was sitting. His eyes were wide open and he seemed a little out of breath and then started pulling away the boxes that had been piled around me.

He just stood there looking at me for what seemed like an eternity and then told me I was “beautiful” and that he thought he would never find me. He actually trembled when he picked me up and carried me out of that basement and into the sunshine.

Apparently, my value seems to have appreciated over the years and that there are indeed, men (and now even women) that seek us out and find our age to be what is most attractive about us.

He took me home that day and spent hours running his hands all over me and cleaning every inch… and he didn’t seem to mind that I was looking a little worn and tired but actually relished in my imperfections… a patina of age, so to speak.

This somewhat old fashioned young man found some pretty new skirts for me and it is now hard to believe that is has been 53 years since I had been liberated. Because of this I thought that we would probably be going on leisurely Sunday rides and expected that with the skirts, that he expected to be get caught in the rain.

We were on our first ride together and imagine my surprise when the man and I hit a long stretch of road and he stood up and showed me things I had thought I had forgotten… he too showed me that he could ride me hard and fast for hours and more importantly, that I could still be ridden just as hard as I had been in my youth.

We have now travelled many miles together and take great delight in shocking people when go bythem and we also like to take is easy and go for longer trips in the country where the journey is what is most important. This is not to say we don’t still like to go hard and fast when the mood strikes us.

I now live with a bunch of nice girls and many of them are even older than I am… the man takes very good care of all of us and makes sure we all get a good amount of attention. I have to say that I feel like a young girl again and don’t mind sharing my space as these other girls also have some interesting stories to tell.

Quite seriously, it is not in a bicycle’s nature to be jealous although I do sometimes wonder about the French girl “Bridgette”, as she gets a little peevish when the man doesn’t spend enough time with her.

We all wait for spring as then the man just won’t look at us but will come and take us out to play in the sunshine and I have to admit that I am looking forward to being taken out to see if can still show these young girls a few things.

So we will wait…

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