No matter how many times I looked my bike was stolen. Gone. It just isn’t there.
Told myself: "It’s just a bike."
With a kick in my gut feeling all day I did the stolen bike thing:
Called police to file a police report
Printed out flyers with a pic to all bike stores.
Called pawn shops.
Posted flyers along the typical cycling paths.
Kept looking where my bike was hoping it would magically appear.
Kept telling myself: "It’s just a bike."
All day long whenever that empty feeling punched me in the gut: "It's just a bike."
Wait a minute. I’ve had this bike for over twelve years. Then I started remembering.
It’s not just a bike. It was my Conestoga Wagon on Ragbrai ferrying me from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River. Okay, so Conestoga wagons went from east to west. Small details. I crossed the expanse of Iowa on my bike passing cornfields, alfalfa fields, and easily recognizable from a long way off hog farms. It blazed trails for me.
It’s not just a bike. In North Dakota it was my trusty horse galloping by fertile farmlands and wheat crops and across rolling grasslands. It showed me the big sky, the Red River Valley and the Drift Prarie.
It’s not just a bike. In New York, it was my packet boat and I was the horse power trudging along passing locks and lift bridges. It helped me explore old canal side towns, including the birthplace of the Colt revolver, something I’d love to show right now to the bike thief.
It’s not just a bike. Living in Qatar it was my Dromedary Taxi, taking me across the desert and showing me the Khor al Adaid ("Inland Sea") along the Persian Gulf.
It’s not just a bike. In Shanghai, it was my own Orient Express. Small bother that the Orient Express never went to Shanghai, because the Orient Express has come to symbolize intrigue and luxury travel. Hey, it’s a (okay..it was) a recumbent and trust me, that’s luxurious when cycling 200kms: no pain.
It’s not just a bike. When I was working in Florida it was my Ponce DeLeon exploration ship, taking me up and down the eastern coast in search of my own fountain of youth. Yes, cycling keeps the kid in ya. No question.
One thing is for sure: It's not "just a bike".