Crying at Uptown Bikes

Yesterday I rode my new bike down 1.5 miles of side streets to get to Uptown Bikes. My goal? Helmet, water bottle cage, basket and anything else to make the Sierra a better bike.

It was the second time that I’ve ridden since my crash and I was scared, especially to ride on the street without a helmet. I know a helmet isn’t a force field, but I’m diehard for my helmet and my brain.

I got to the shop and was talking to the guy about what I needed on my bike, when the owner came out and said, “Hey Leah, how are you doing? Any resolution to your crash?”

And I lost it. I didn’t just shed a tear, I sobbed. Standing in the middle of Uptown Bikes, I cried over losing my bike, my injuries and all this fear I have that used to just be caution.

I think the staff at Uptown Bikes understands the attachment that customers have to their bikes and the recovery process after a crash. In addition to a new basket and bottle cage, I got a new chain and new freewheel. They tightened up the brakes and finished it all in less than two hours.

When I went to pick up my bike (and my new BRIGHT YELLOW HELMET), they promised me it was a good replacement bike and that if I couldn’t have my Varsity, this was nothing to be ashamed of. The new freewheel and chain added a bit of pep to the bike. The basket will carry a light load of groceries. The helmet is very visible.

Now to get my gumption back. I woke up early to ride my bike to work today and wimped out. I need someone to chaperone me a few times to and from the loop. I hate feeling this way. I hate the loss of independence.

But I do like my new bike. Maybe someday I’ll love my new bike. I still love the idea of riding, I just want to get back to riding without the sense of dread and fear.

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