Forget that ‘sign from God’ thing I was talking about

Posted on Updated on

Rose (above) and I fell in love with Ambergris Caye while pedaling around on a pair of rented bikes. We both see this as our primry mode of transportation as we make the move to the island in less than two weeks.
Rose (above) and I fell in love with Ambergris Caye while pedaling around on a pair of rented bikes. We both see this as our primry mode of transportation as we make the move to the island in less than two weeks.

That “sign from God” thing I mentioned in my last post?

You know, when my beloved 1981 Trek mountain bike with the urban tires was almost completely ignored at our garage sale, and I said it was a sign from god that I should keep it?

Well, not completely ignored. This one cranky old guy spent a ridiculous amount of time pointing out the dings and scratches and scars on the frame and kept saying, “Well, you know this will have to be refinished …”

Me: “Well, no, not really …”  and  “Oh, sure, it has marks but …” and so on.

To recap: Yesterday I foolishly said the fact that my bike didn't sell at the garage sale was a sign that God wanted me to keep it and ship it to Belize ....
To recap: Yesterday I foolishly said the fact that my bike didn’t sell at the garage sale was a sign that God (on the right) wanted me (on the left) to keep it and ship it to Belize ….

Finally, Bobby got some backbone, and I practically shouted at the guy, “Look, this is a 33-year-old fricking mountain bike. It is supposed to have scars and besides,  IT RIDES BEAUTIFULLY.”

Deep breath.

“I’m sorry, sir. This bike really isn’t for you.”

He agreed and we parted amicably. Or maybe he just left. Who cares?

Refinishing the frame on a mountain bike? That’s a lipstick-on-a-pig moment if ever there was one ….

Sadly, nobody else showed a fraction of this guy’s misguided interest.

Which is what lead me to conclude that this was a sign from God that I should keep the bike and ship it to Belize.

Really? Sign from God? Like he doesn’t have enough to do with running the universe; keeping the planets from colliding; keeping Republicans and Democrats apart; and making sure that Google and Starbucks don’t merge with Apple?

He’s gonna spend time charting the divine path of a 33-year-old mountain bike — then send out signals like some third-base coach? Really?

What She (on right) really meant was that I (on left) should turn my bike over to my son Ryan, so that he could ride it between the train station and home in San Francisco.
What She (on right) really meant was that I (on left) should turn my bike over to my son Ryan, so that he could ride it between the train station and home in San Francisco.

Admittedly, I was showing a rare combination of presumptuousness and facetiousness … but still, I am a big believer in some things being meant to be, for whatever reason.

In this case, I now know, the bike didn’t sell because it was meant to fulfill yet another family purpose.

Yesterday, my son Ryan, known informally as The Mayor of North Beach, drove in from San Francisco in a rented Chevy Silverado pickup truck to haul our two red leather couches back to his  apartment.

He also ended up with the bike, on which I gave him an even better deal than the couches. The couches he got for practically nothing. My fault for missing the nuanced meaning between the words “for both” and “each.”

The bike, I gladly gave him with tears of joy in my eyes. Bikes, like good couches and old photographs, should stay within family.

It’s a legacy thing.

I wrote about all sorts of transportation issues but my columnist photo didn't hide where my personal loyalties resided.
I wrote about all sorts of transportation issues but my columnist photo didn’t hide where my personal loyalties resided.

Not too long ago, as the transportation writer for a San Diego newspaper, I advocated strongly for bicycle commuting and even practiced what I preached.

How thrilled I was when Ryan said he could cycle to and from home and the Caltrain station (where they have free valet bike parking). Currently working south of San Francisco, he’d recently had an epiphany watching the Caltrain glide past as he sat alone in his car, dead in a major – make that “daily” — highway traffic jam.

So there you go.

If my bike can help keep one more vehicle off the roads, and give my son some terrific exercise as well – and still keep the bike in the family, well, certainly that is what God had in mind all the time.

That God, she is one smart cookie ….

This is Caltrain, which my son now takes to his job south of San Francisco. He will be riding my bicycle to the station where he catches the train. He no longer sits alone in his car in rush hour traffic. This makes me so happy.
This is Caltrain, which my son now takes to his job south of San Francisco. He will be riding my bicycle to the station where he catches the train. He no longer sits alone in his car in rush hour traffic. This makes me so happy.
Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Forget that ‘sign from God’ thing I was talking about

    Emily said:
    January 27, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    What a wonderful way to share something you love and advocate for with your son. The non-sale DID happen for a reason, whether by divine intervention or just plain old dumb luck. Bikes rule! You and Rose will have a blast riding everywhere on Ambergris Caye, just like we did. Best wishes for a smooth and easy move and transition to island life in Belize!

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      January 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Hi Emily,
      Thanks for the note. At the moment I’m voting for “just plain old dumb luck”! That’s the kind I usually have.
      When you guys lived on Ambergris Caye, did you have a favorite bike shop? I saw some bikes for sale in a hardware store on the roundabout near the Blue Tang — but I imagine there are others, maybe even in Belize City?
      Thanks! Good to see you’re still traveling the country!
      Bob

      Like

        Emily said:
        January 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm

        Yes, the best bike shop we found was in Belize City and called Hop Sing. You can see a couple of photos here: http://bebelize.weebly.com/1/category/belize%20city/1.html. On the island we went to “El Guapo” just south of the bridge for inexpensive repairs, but for parts, Hop Sing was the place. We actually bought our beach cruiser bikes on Craigslist in the US before moving to AC and shipped them down. They had aluminum frames, which was a real plus. Another thing we brought that paid in spades was a rear rack and steel bike baskets that Barry was able to use on the back of his bike (you can see a bit of them at the very bottom of the blog post above). Also, you’ll want FENDERS for sure! We were so happy to have them during rainy season — no mud stripes up our backs!

        Like

    jodivin said:
    January 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    from My Last Greatest Adventure…Maybe. I do follow you. Soon we will nearly be neighbors. We are Belize (Carmelita Gardens, Cayo district) bound in 2015. My husband has to complete his “work life”, first. I have enjoyed your writing, and wish you both well. I had a fat tire Flyer that I hung onto until I was 51. I would have it still if my garage hadn;t been robbed!

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      January 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Hi Jodi.
      Thank you for reading — and your message. I see that Carmelita Gardens is created and designed by Phil Hahn. We stayed at his Orchid Bay for a few nights. I was really taken with the concept and expect it will be quite nice once more people buy in. Carmelita looks better positioned geographically. We may well be neighbors by the time you move there! Rose and I plan to spend our second six months in San Ignacio exploring it as a possible home.
      Good luck in your journey to Belize and your new home. We’ll follow you at wineriderblog.wordpress.com !

      Bob

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s