Last Sunday, I dropped by my brothers’ place to pick up my new old bike. One of my brothers unselfishly agreed to lend me his mountain bike so I could gradually dip my feet into the world of cycling.
– My new hand-me-down bike –
I have three brothers. And they have three bikes, if I’m not mistaken.
The eldest brother was a cyclist in his 20s. Having an 11 year age gap, I remember watching him in awe as a little girl every time he got ready to leave or returned from his cycling adventure wearing his cleats (which looked so high tech at that time). I recall his tattered, overused logbook and how he tediously monitored his distance, time, and everything else in it. He taught me that wearing the yellow jersey was the coolest thing in the Tour de France.
One time, while on my way home to Makati riding our school bus along Marcos Highway in Antipolo, I was pleasantly surprised to see my Kuya waving from outside my window. My bus mates suspiciously asked who it was I was smiling at. And, I replied with pride “That’s my Kuya!”
My two other brothers enjoyed cycling too, but never got into it as seriously as the eldest. It was the 2nd brother who lent me the mountain bike. The 3rd was asleep (at noontime!) when I picked up the bike.
So, before they allowed me to bring home the bike, my two kuyas commanded me to test ride the bike. I rode it up and down the driveway. Okay, it looked like I passed that test.
Next, they demonstrated how to shift gears and how to reattach them should the gears fall off. Easy peasy, I thought.
Lastly, they showed me how to remove the front wheel for transporting the bike. Wait a minute, run that by me again. They showed me a 2nd time and asked me to do it myself. I did it twice. Then, they told me to load the bike unto my car. Such tough instructors, I tell you!
When all that was said and done, my eldest brother gave his final words of advise much like a nervous dad discussing the birds and the bees with his teener. Spinning his hands in the air, he said “Don’t push down with your feet. Focus on circular motions.” Okay! “When you are about to climb up, shift your gears, take a deep breath, and push forward.” Got it. Then he looked at the bike and said, this time like a mother giving her baby away for adoption, “I’m going to miss you!”
I felt pangs of guilt, but I knew that he knew his baby would be in good hands. I will try to ride the bike at least once a week. And, hopefully, I’ll enjoy it. I’m sure not as much as I love running though.