Dear Bike Thieves,
I hope that you love this bike as much as I do. I hope that when you text your husband at 12:20 a.m. from the Middle of Nowhere, Arizona, and he doesn’t respond till ten hours later, reading your pathetic apology for being so stupid, his words will have an equal measure of love.
I’m sorry you lost your bike. That does suck since you’ve had that one for so long and rode so far on it. Sorry babe. 😓
He will never say, “I told you so” or, “Why didn’t you…”
He will be right there with you at 12:20 a.m. when your dog barks and you hear voices and you step out of the hotel room into the Dark Sky Universe and all that your blurry-without-glasses eyes can see is… the absence of tires.
Because he was there when you got that bike, nine years ago. When you went to the spring extravaganza under-the-tent bike sale with $1000 in your pocket from that year’s tax return–the only expendable money we had for a year–placed upon its pedals, teacher’s salary, three kids at home, him not working, “Can I buy it?”
Of course you can set your alarm for 4:16 a.m. and pedal uphill in your new click-in shoes, before the sun rises, before you can even afford a light, before the world is awake, to put that bike along that endless road for thousands upon thousands of miles.
Of course you can register, pay for, and race a train up and down a mountain with this bike, this bike, these tires, this set of wings.
Of course you can buy a bike box and bring this bike to Spain, wrapped in bubble paper and soul tissue, and ride it to school, to twenty tutoring jobs a week, to the end of the road where the mountains meet the Mar.
Of course you can drive down I-25 on a 90-degree Sunday, new tent in the trunk, and watch your bike fly off its flawed bike rack into six lanes of Denver traffic, and watch your husband, afraid of nothing when it comes to his love for you, stand on the shoulder and wait for the right car to allow him to dash into the middle of an INTERSTATE and save that Baby Number Four.
Of course you will never feel the FEEL of the Sun Road in Glacier National Park without this bike vibrating under your palms.
But it is dark. I have driven 500 miles in a day only to be told by my boy, “I told you so” and “I don’t need to waste a photo on a pile of rocks” when looking at the GRAND CANYON, and…
Thieves. Boys. Oppressed.
You have my bike.
I hope you fix the red handlebar tape that was flapping for 500 miles to Arizona.
I hope you ride it to the edge of the reservation and demand that our government give you running water and a better chance at a decent life.
I hope that you sell it and feed your family for a month.
I hope that you love it as much as I have loved it. That you feel the wind in your hair, the beauty in 600 million years of piled-up rocks, and the words of my husband.
It’s so fucking simple. And so goddamn hard to say.