Most of you know how much I loved my bike Loops. I mean, she's the icon of this blog. And I tattooed an image of us on my arm to marginally explain the joy riding her gave me. My troubles were gone on her. She was my favorite pastime, of all time. Everyone who knows me, knows what/who Loops is.
Loops was stolen Saturday night from my apartment's gated courtyard. The fence was hopped and five bikes were stolen. The thieves hit a few other apartments in the neighborhood. In the past, I have felt violated when material objects were stolen from me, but with Loops, I didn't feel violated only deeply sad. Like my best friend had suddenly moved to another city and that was that for us. Y'know, people have their paths in life and I know people steal for whatever reasons; I hold no judgement of that, honestly. I was only devastated that my beloved bike was gone. For a split second, I felt stupid for loving an object so much, but then I remembered the advice I gave my friend Marianne that if you love something material, you might as well love the fuck out of it until it's gone.
One of things I really loved was that Loops was a hand-me-down, a castoff left to rot on the side of a seaside mansion. When she was given to me, I brought her to life and scraped salt-rust off her chain and covered her unkempt frame and put money into new parts and tune ups. What she brought back to life for me was this deeply-ingrained love I have always felt on a bike. There is no better casual joy; no other daily freedom. Loops turned me into a fierce bike advocate and the more time I spent on her, the more I convinced myself that I could one day be car-free. I can't adequately explain how emotional the connection was and how grateful I was for her. I couldn't wait to ride her everyday.
Loops even made me think I could be a road cyclist, but to be honest Heidi Whitey has been collecting dust in the garage because I just wanted to ride Loops. I like to commute on a bike way more than I like to seriously train on one.
I found out at the farmers market, when Molly called me. Her bike was stolen too. I hadn't noticed when I left because a couple bikes were still there. Molly spoke as if I knew and I felt punched in the face. I was spinning hot in the market's aisle, people streaming in slow motion. Mina was with me and her friend who had spent the night. When I told Mina, she gasped. The friend said, "Hey that sucks. Let's go see these funny-looking squash over here," which is a normal reaction to any meaningless bike theft, but Mina hugged me tight and said she was sorry many times. It meant everything that she knew how I felt. I didn't want to cry at the market. I waited. We got home, and I stared at the gaping hole in the bike rack. I clumped up stairs and put away vegetables. I text Papi. When he came home, I heard Mina say, "Mami's so upset," and when I saw him, I cried. I said, "It's the only thing I liked. It's the only thing I loved," which crushed Papi so hard that he immediately said, "I'll buy you a new bike right now, baby. Let's get a bike." I really didn't want a new bike, I wanted Loops, but I also didn't want to stop riding, not even for a day.
The bike that Papi got me is a slicker, faster, smoother, lighter Loops. It ain't Loops, but it's butter. It took me a couple days to even acknowledge how great of a bike it is. I said, "I guess it rides better than Loops," and Papi said, "It should, the components are about 100x better and it's 10lbs lighter." I mean, true. It ain't Loops, but it's butter. If you look at her fast, she looks like Loops without as much character. Yesterday when I rode her, it was the first time I let myself be wow'ed by her. She is amazing. So fast and smooth; a cross between Loops and Whitey. I've said so often -- it ain't Loops but it's butter -- that I think her name is Butter. Mina agreed and she's the Great Namer of Bikes. Butter, right?
RIP, Loops. God, I loved the fuck out of you.
Riding Loops through Squaw, busting with happiness.Back from SM Farmer's MarketThe famous birthday date of 2007 before I blacked out the frame with electrical tape. Sigh.
ten years ago today
8 hours ago