Monday brought some warm, sunny weather. In the morning I encountered my neighbor saddling up his bike for a ride to work, and I thought of my bike, sequestered in the garage, un-ridden for about 20 months. Later that morning I got it out, brought out a soapy bucket and wiped it down, and rode it down the alley and back. Still works.
It’s at the bike shop now getting a tuneup. And a new chain. And saddle. I hope to ride it to work on Friday.
I’m very tentative about this kind of thing, when I try something new for the first time. I expect I won’t be able to keep it up, and so it will take a lot for me to say, “I ride my bike to work.” I’m not like my friend, who dives into new interests and pursuits with single-minded focus and uses phrases like, “The hiking community.” I’m more like my other friend. She ran the Boulder Boulder, like, five times, and yet she would say, “I’m not a runner.”
I’m a novice at everything. Don’t tell the pros.
I’m afraid the pros will call me a poseur. In high school I bought this beautiful pair of Diadora shoes, black with neon trim. I’d seen some of the soccer players wearing Diadora, and I thought they looked cool. The first time I wore them to school those soccer players gave me Hell. I wasn’t a soccer player; why was I wearing Diadora sneakers? I quit wearing them.
Everybody is trying it on, you know? Even the pros could stop tomorrow. That jogger you pass in your car who prompts a shock of guilt maybe hasn’t run for weeks, or ever. Today could be her first attempt. Or she could be training for her fifth marathon. What’s it matter?
One of the dangers of a culture driven by expertise and high performance is the loss of the novice.