I Love Bikes But Bikes Don't Love Me

I Love Bikes But Bikes Don't Love Me

Just a girl wishing she found her bike and the culprit who broke her second one.
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Since I have been back at school, I have endured three separate and isolated incidents involving my bicycle. As of today, I have come to a sad conclusion the world doesn’t want me to own a bike. I am unsure as to why. Does the universe know how much I love my bike that it feels the need to teach me a lesson and take it away?

Back in September, an intellectual locked their bike up to mine. By intellectual, I mean dumb ass. This is where my problems began. I had to cut off a wire connected to my breaks and walk my baby over to the shop to get it fixed. Fortunately, it was a quick and cheap fiasco. Little did I know the grief this bike would cause me.

In October, that beautiful bike I had waited months for was stolen out of my parking garage. I learned one thing on that day.

Trust no one.

Just kidding, I already had trust issues. I surprisingly handled the situation calmly. My parents will attest to it. My mom continuously told me how proud she was that I didn’t have a melt down. To be honest, I was patting myself on the back for it as well. I filed a police report and left it up to fate

Well, fate hates me because the bike is still no where to be found.

Stolen bicycles here at Charleston is a separate issue in it and of itself, but I won't touch on that right now.

After coming to terms with the loss of my bike, I decided to buy myself a new one and boy was I proud. I was ready to take the streets by storm. The first one I had was a professional cycle. My dad used to make bicycle parts, and he had credit at a store. Cue the army green, low handle, speed racer bike. It's safe to say I felt like a true badass.

But this new yellow bike...with brown wheels, seats and purple accents...my god I was in heaven. I thought I was so cute riding around in my new cruiser. Screw the old bike; I’ve got myself a new one that was perfect for me.

My friends and family laugh about how much I love my cruiser, it's an apparent obsession that I have.

Living on a major street with a long driveway my entire life, I was never allowed to bike from place to place. It wasn’t safe, and I was too young. The fact that a bike can get me somewhere so quickly when my little legs take forever to take me places was a miracle. No more breaking a sweat while walking to class, I get to feel the wonderful breeze as I peddle away.

Well, not anymore!!!!!

Tuesday, January 17th was supposed to be a good day.

I usually get coffee before class. Unfortunately, the line was out the door, so I had to settle for the water bottle I had in my book bag. Now, if anyone knows me understands that class without coffee is the equivalent of me without sleep. If my last article gave you any indication, I have an addiction to naps.

Moving on,

You can understand my anguish when I opted to head to class without my iced caramel latte. So, the morning started off with a bump, but I knew it was going to look up.

My second class was canceled, and I figured I’d grab a coffee after class. "Whatever, Sydney," I thought. "I can roll with the punches."

Wrong.

Through the ally between Jimmy Johns and Jacks Cafe, I go, and I see my poor dead baby treated with such immense inconsideration.

Cue *Hands flying above head* “Oh. my. god.”

My bike was run over.

Flipped upside down, clearly rammed into by a truck

A girl came up to me “Are you okay? Do you need anything? I wish I could help, that is so horrible.”

I wonder what I looked like from an outsiders perspective.

I call my mom as tears are beginning to form.

Don’t cry, it’s just a bike. Remember how proud she was when you handled the other situation.

Screw it.

Tears start coming.

“Well, at least you weren’t on it,” she said.

“If I were on it, it wouldn't have gotten hit!”

(I apparently have too much faith in my biking abilities, considering I don’t have an athletic bone in my body)

A Jimmy Johns’ employee rushes out; he can tell I am extremely distraught. He tells me that there is a camera right above and public safety can help me. I thank him for his kindness, flip over my bike, lock it back up and clench my fists. Off I go, huffing and puffing, and the only thought that raced through my mind was “I could get there much faster if I were on my bike, God Dammit.”

Long story short about my time at public safety, I am now friends with the Sergeant. We plan to find the culprit; it is only a matter of time. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, I’m coming to raise hell.

In a city where there are so many students, residents and tourists biking, you would think there would be better precautions put in place. I plan to get rich off of a bike safety initiative; you heard it here first.

Moral of the story: The world doesn’t want me to own a bike.

My sunshine is currently in an induced coma, sleeping quite uncomfortably in my trunk, anxiously awaiting surgery—that will be paid for by the animal that carelessly broke my bike in the first place.

Maybe I'm being trained to dislike my bike because the future has something more dangerous in store (God forbid).

Like me actually getting hit by a car, my Mother's worst fear.

But until that day comes, I’ll be riding off into the sunset.

Well, as soon as I get it repaired.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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views

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Men, If The Gillette Commercial Angers You, You Need To Re-Evaluate Your Morals

If you are offended by this commercial, YOU are who the commercial is aimed at.

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On Tuesday, January 15, Gillette, a men's shaving care company, released an extremely controversial commercial. This commercial that has taken over social media by storm shows many different examples of toxic masculinity and how men should encourage other men to be the best they can be, playing off of the company's tagline.

Many people are angry with this commercial, mostly because they believe it to be "anti-male." It first shows different examples of toxic masculinity, such as a dad saying, "Boys will be boys" as his son beats up another kid. It then goes on to other examples, like sexual harassment against women, social media bullying and mansplaining. In the last part of the commercial, it shows different ways men can counteract these same situations in different, positive ways.

I have seen so many tweets of men throwing away Gillette products, cussing out the company and saying they have no right to "come after men" like that. But guess what?

This commercial isn't anti-male. It is all for being a positive influence and a respectful HUMAN.

"Boys will be boys" is not a valid excuse for your son to beat up another kid at school. Mansplaining everything a woman says does degrade her. Standing on the sidelines watching a man make comments to a woman who clearly isn't interested is awful. Just like girls automatically hating other girls is not okay just because it is seen as a societal norm. This isn't about being against men and it never will be.

No, I'm not a feminist because I do not align with the man-hating definition that that word is given in today's society. But I have more respect for the men in my life who don't subscribe to the idea that being a man means that you have to be an immoral, toxic person. This commercial isn't about being politically correct. It's about being a good person and just happens to mention the negative traits that men sometimes exhibit. Just like women do.

The best men in my life are the ones who put their masculinity aside and don't let it infiltrate everything they do. They stand up for other men who are being put down due to who they are. They stand up for women who are being harassed by other men. They teach younger boys how to be respectful, honest, good men so that when they grow up, they can teach their sons the same lessons.

The men who are triggered by this commercial need to look themselves in the mirror and ask why it bothers them so much. Is it because YOU make excuses for the way you act because you're "a man" and it is just "what you do?" Maybe it is because you know it is true, that you can see the toxic masculinity in yourself but don't want to admit it.

Whatever the reason, just understand that the commercial couldn't be further from putting down men. Gillette, and the rest of society, want men to be the best they can be, period.

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