On A Bicycle at 84
by: Arthur Thistlewood, Library member
Not long ago a text entitled TRAINING THE MIND came to my attention. In the introduction , the author explains that your mind plays tricks on you, so beware! I thought to myself, how can that be? But then you realize the tricks are simply ways your mind is not always aware of itself, that you, yourself, never know how old your are. Im my case, being over eighty causes lapses of awareness that causes problems.
Prepare for a laugh.
For the Independence Day celebration, my nephew and I had camped beside a lake near Sacramento. We cooked and swam and walked lazily, and enjoyed camping before heading back to the city and the daily grind. With the camper ready to haul to storage, Steve noticed his bicycle in the rear view mirror was still standing near the spot where we had parked.
“Would you mind walking the bike over to storage while I drive over there and store the camper?”
“Glad to do it, “I replied, so I got out of the truck and walked back to where the bicycle was still parked.
Jauntily, I began to push the bike. After about seven minutes I had progressed about 75 yards toward the storage area. O noticed a ledge to my left, so I stepped up on the ledge to mount the bike, but couldn’t get my log over the frame. Thant should have warned me, but, unthinking, I continued to push the bike along. Even though I hadn’t ridden a bicycle for many years, I did not realize I might be too old to jump on a bicycle and ride.
After pushing along a few more yards, I came to some steps to my left whick led up to the pool house. This time I thought sure I could manage to ride the rest of the way to storage , and casually threw my leg over the bicycles as if to start riding it.
Well, the bicycle took on a life of its own; I was 40 years too old just to ride a bicycle. I watched in consternation as the bicycle gloriously continued its way with me on it. Instead of proceeding cautiously along the drive, the bicycle twisted this way and that, turning right down the grassy slope into the lake. PLOP. Although undamaged, I was suddenly wet up to my eyelashes.
Fortunately for me, several people were working nearby; everyone came running to pull the bicycle and me out of the water. Whew!
No one was laughing, but I realized just how lucky it was I hadn’t hurt myself as I attempted to do something I could have done easily twenty years ago.
There It was: my mind had played a trick on me I had not thought for one second that I was incapable of just riding the bike wherever it needed to go. We sometimes hear stories of senior citizens getting themselves into difficulty trying to perform some task that had been quite easy a few years ago. All that’s left to say is, please think a moment, because you might not wind up wet but undamaged as I did.
Write Your Story @ the Union City Library
Join our senior library member Bruce Haase
and write your memoir. Bruce is lifelong reader, he now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction.
These are informal meetings ,
for writing. Sharing is optional.
Meetings take place
The Third Tuesday of the month
October 21, November 18 and December 16
1 p.m. — 3 p.m.
Please bring pen & paper
For more information: Bruce Haase Email:firstname.lastname@example.org