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.
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.”
“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?
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.
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 ….