In my past I’ve had and loved a total of three bikes, which have given me a slew of memories and taught me the complex nature of relationships.
The first two-wheeled love of my life happened when I was a wee lad living in downtown Toronto. Its frame was a turquoise colour with yellow stripes running along the handlebars.
Back during that time in my life there was an event held to determine how well participants could get along with their bikes under stressful conditions.
This event involved each rider passing through an obstacle course of orange pylon cones. Each bike rider who completed this course successfully got a small bag of goodies to doll-up their bicycle’s appearance with.
After that event, my bike was one good-looking piece of metal.
As I grew-up my bike remained the same, and so we drifted apart and I lost interest in riding.
The second bicycle I fell for was passed down to me from my brother.
It was a dark blue bike with red stripes along its body. The bike and I got off to a rocky start. It was a little too mature for me; when I received it I was too short for it. But together we worked out our differences and happily roamed the streets.
Sometimes, though, we fought, and sometimes things got physical, which resulted in the occasional wipeout — but what love affair is perfect, right?
Eventually, though, we realized it wasn’t going to work. I’d grown once again and the bike just couldn’t keep up, and so we decided to go our separate ways.
My third and final affair was quite possibly the most memorable. This bike was a light blue colour, and it had a tattoo along its muscular frame that read “Super Bike.” It was as sexy as it was fast.
By this point I had learned that a relationship involved give and take, devotion and care. If my bike was going to let me ride it, I knew I’d have to care for it.
So my bike and I would spend “tune-up” sessions together, as I tightened its brakes, cleaned its frame, fixed its gears and pumped its tires with just enough air.
One day after school, though, I was devastated to find my beloved violated in the bike rack.
Open condoms littered the bike seat and handles, and the scent of urine was strong upon the bike. It was rough to see my bike like that, but I cleaned it up and proudly rode it home — we got through it.
I was in middle school at the time and never found the perpetrator who violated my bicycle. To this day I think it was the sinister work of evil high school students.
This last bike and I lasted a surprising four years.
Fate forced our separation when the bike chain randomly snapped into two.
This bike still rests at my home in Toronto, even though it is rendered unrideable.
Now that I am living alone in Winnipeg I think it might be time to rekindle my love affair with bicycles.