I have recently discovered that I am a biker chick. No, I am not revving the engine of a motorcycle and dressed in black leather. My one attempt to ride a motorcycle ended with a broken mirror and me miraculously not hurt…but that is another story.
I prefer a regular old bicycle — fitted out with a motor. In short, an e-bike.
After a visit from my uncle where he talked about the long bike rides he took with my aunt, I was looking forward to trying out an electric bike on my next visit to Oregon. I saddled up on my electric bike and prepared to see the world from the back of a bicycle.
Of course, me being me, it wasn’t quite that easy.
Although I hadn’t ridden in years, riding a bike is like, you know, riding a bike. The addition of a motor just made it nicer. When faced with a hill, all you do is turn your wrist and the motor takes over. Okay, so I also might have made use of the motor when there were no hills in sight. My aunt led the way and my uncle remained in the back to help any stragglers. Spoiler alert: I was a straggler. My first time out, I turned the motor up to full throttle as everyone else in the group pulled away.
As they disappeared from sight, my uncle checked my bike and realized that I had the motor on the lowest setting. Even with it maxed out, I could barely approach a decent speed. After he told me how to fix it, I took off with the wind blowing in my hair. We rode through the countryside and neighborhoods.
Nothing could stop me now.
Until I started to hear a flapping sound. And my bike felt a little sluggish.
Yes, I had a flat tire. My uncle drove home to get a pickup.
The next day, we headed out again with the tires on my borrowed bike once more in working order. We raced along the route with my aunt in the lead. As we passed the place where my tire had given out the day before, crowds threw rose petals and trumpets blew — or maybe my fellow riders jokingly congratulated me.
Not too long after we passed the point of victory, my bike seemed to grow a lot heavier on the way up a hill. In fact, it felt like my motor had given out entirely. I checked my speedometer and realized that the reason my motor felt like it had died was because it had died.
For the remaining distance home, I was on me-power and me-power only. The wind still blew through my hair, but not quite as strongly as it had before.
Our visit ended before we could go for another bike ride. I think this is probably a good thing, since bad things come in three, and I kind of wondered what would be next.
Flat tires and tired motors aside, I realized I love biking. I have now started riding back home. There’s a lot to be said for biking. One can enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. One can exercise. One can breathe fresh air.
And if one is me, one can find a lot of excuses to laugh.
“A joyful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22