Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Selling a Bicycle

I will soon be leaving Turkey so I've started shedding some of the possessions I've accumulated over the past two years. Taking clothes to the dumpster or donating them to the "Good Will" is easy. Ridding myself of travel bottles of shampoo and conditioner, books and magazines, and maps is not difficult. But yesterday I sold one of my two bicycles. It was almost like saying "good bye" to family or sending a son or daughter off to college. I am sad for beginning of the end of this chapter in my life that selling the bicycle represents, and I am hoping the bicycle will bring joy and freedom to its new owner.

I purchased Bicycle #3 for Eric when he came to town and for weekend rides with companions. I'd bought it used from a friend/Malatya bike racer who had two bikes and needed cash for college. I knew my handy husband could use his TLC to tune it up and make it ride like new. The bike has seen Cesme,  climbed the mountain bike trails behind Balcova and the steep road upYemenlar, ridden all the bike routes along Izmir Bay, taken countless trips to Kus Cenneti (the Bird Paradise), joined in some rides with Ege Pedal, and met me after school whenever Eric is in town. The bike has taken untold numbers of rides on the ferries, bounced on the cobblestones of Alsancak, and made friends with all the bike store employees and owners in Izmir. But Eric won't be back in Izmir because of his new job in Malaysia and Bike #2 needed a home.

This week I cleaned up the bike and prepared a bag of "extras" for the new owner (locks, helmut, extra tubes). I thought about the fun Eric and I'd had biking together. I left out wrenches to help adjust the seat and handle bars for the new owner. I stayed in my sweaty bike clothes because I thought I'd offer to help the new owner ride the bike home and make sure she understood the gears, the quick-release tires, etc.

They new owner arrived with her husband and a car. (Of course I hadn't thought about this.) She was excited about the bicycle but I could tell that they wanted to drive the bicycle home and she would ride it later. (I just assumed everyone was like me and rode their new bikes home from the store) Anyway,  I did show her husband how to release the brake and remove the wheel so they could stuff the bike into the trunk. And they declined the offer of a bungee cord to secure the lid and the bike so neither the car nor the bike got damaged in transit... "It's only a few kilometers away and we will drive slowly...."

So, this morning I'm feeling a little sad. It's not really the bicycle but rather the fun with my husband that it represents. And, like a son or daughter leaving home, I know the bike will have many new adventures, see new places, and "be" the bike that's it's meant to be.

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