Last Saturday after a great little day of sun and volleyball out on the beach I returned to the bike rack to find my bike was gone. Right where I left it, no evidence of it having ever been there.
The one I'd just ridden down the beach path, the sun and wind in my face, her handlebars in my hands. Gone. Simply vanished.
I've tried not to focus too much on who took it or what they intend to do with it. Sure, I've looked at Craigslist a couple of times just to see if it popped up, but I just have to consider it gone. It's simply easier than to picture her leaned against a chain link fence at some dirt-yard garage sale or wedged on the side of a house between a ladder and bad patio furniture, rain dripping down onto its components.
And as much as she might want to go for a ride to the beach, no one takes her anywhere 'cause they just got a new Playstation.
I got the bike in 1997 when I bought my first car, a VW Trek model. It came with a bike. It turned out to be a really good one, too. So good in fact that I ended up selling my old bike. We became fast friends and rode together often. I rode it around Dallas before later dodging traffic on my urban mountain biking trips in New York. I rode it a few times around Atlanta and of course I rode it all the time out here in LA. After all, LA is flat, sunny and next to the ocean. I can't think of a better place to ride a bike. Except maybe my neighborhood back home when I was a kid.
Now that I've had a few days to reflect, maybe that was what my bike was for. Maybe it decided to stick with me until I got out here and then spend a few summers with me. We had a good, long ride for sure. I only wish Saturday as I put air in her tires before riding down the beach path that I'd known.
That was going to be our last ride.