I’m at a bicycle shop in south Denver, waiting nervously for my adult Learn-to-Ride class to start. I feel embarrassed. I learned to ride a bike as a kid. Sharing a one-speed Schwinn with my big sister, I biked up and down our northeast Denver streets, determined to pedal fast. I loved the speed and skill of mastering a two-wheeler. Once I learned, I never looked back.
As the rule of thumb says: “It’s like riding a bike. You never forget.”
Well, I forgot.
Life happened. I stopped riding. The three-speed I bought as an adult rarely left the garage. Convinced I no longer cared, my husband sold my bike at a garage sale, making the exchange while I was inside the house and not bothering to get my okay because, as he explained, “You never ride it!”
So there I was — no bike, peeved with him for dumping mine, not ready to invest in another one.
For exercise, I took long walks with Dan in a nearby park, always aware he prefers biking because a medical injury sometimes makes him stumble.
Something else hindered us, however — my lingering anger. Dan sold my bike — without asking me. I scratched that resentment like a bad rash.
“I’ll get you another bike,” he finally promised, shopping with me at garage sales and stores to look for a replacement.
Sure enough, at a church swap meet one Saturday, I eyed a too-cool women’s ten-speed, step-through bike in the church parking lot. Silvery and sleek, it featured thin wheels, no rust, quality components, and a merciful price.
So, I got on the bike for a test. I started to pedal, and immediately, I fell off. Stunned, I tried again, but I could not balance. I got on again, but no go. I couldn’t ride the thing — or any other bike I tried.
Years passed with me watching bicyclists of all ages fly by me as I walked at the park, feeling envious and privately nursing my old grudge. Finally this spring, Dan urged me to take a class “so we can ride together again.”
Searching online, I found an adult class and signed up. I feared falling. But after watching a YouTube video of a woman learning to ride a bike, I committed to give it my best.
Moreover, I prayed: I need help — to ride, to balance, and especially to forgive.
I finally realized “my” bike wasn’t mine at all. “The earth is the Lord’s,” says Psalm 24:1, “and everything in it” — bikes included.
Then with goodness, God lifted my resentment, and now I thought maybe I could ride.
Indeed, I could.
At the Bicycle Colorado class, the teachers are smart twenty-somethings and nice. With a practice bike, they point me to a big parking lot and secure my helmet. Then one of them removes the bike’s pedals and orders me to sit on the saddle, lift my feet, and just glide.
Looking down at my feet, I quickly lose my balance. But the teacher says, “Look up! The bike will follow where you look, where you want to go.”
I listen to that forgotten wisdom and look straight ahead — to where I want to go.
Of course, in no time, I’m gliding — feet off the ground, balanced and straight. In another ten minutes, with the pedals back on the bike, I’m riding that bike like nobody’s business.
“Come back!” Dan yells. But I’m gone, pedaling strong, turning toward tomorrow.
How? By looking up. Following my eyes. Heading to where I want to go. Yep, it’s a metaphor. But it blesses my soul, and so I’m sharing the lesson with you:
Look up — to our Source, to our Help, to where you want to go. Your bike will follow. Even better, so will your life.
Look up -- to our Source, to our Help. -@PatriciaRaybon: Click To Tweet