I’ve had a lot of mishaps while riding my bike. I’ve…
- Fallen over,
- Been sworn at,
- Been cut off by cars,
- Been forced off the road by a car,
- Ridden into pot holes,
- Had spokes break,
- Been bitten by bugs,
- Had a truck tire blow out about 20 yards behind me,
- Gotten sun burn,
- Run over a snake,
- Nearly ran over a squirrel.
But last weekend was something new. About 14 miles from home, while riding down a hill, my glasses fell apart. A screw came loose, popped out of the frame and the lens dropped onto my face. I’ve got one hand and the handle bars, and one hand on my face, so I don’t lose the lens. Thankfully, it was on a deserted road, so no traffic.
I pull over and off the road. I call home, and am told my other pair of sunglasses will be on their way. I ask my daughter for my other pair of prescription sunglasses. She and my wife drive over about 20 minutes later, with the wrong glasses. They leave, and return with the bike rack and a call it a day. My total roadside time was probably nearly an hour.
The waiting was the best part. I’m on Buckmanville Road in New Hope, Pennsylvania. It’s about 9:00 am, so it hadn’t gotten that hot yet, and I’m sitting in the shade. A few cars pass by. About a dozen fellow bicyclists pass by, some nice enough to ask if I need help. Behind me is a very large house with a very large yard. In front of me are woods and a field. The sounds of bugs and birds predominate (though one plane or another is often over head).
After resigning myself to the facts I’m not where I want to be, or doing what I want to do (riding to Lumberville), I just sat there and relaxed. It’s a beautiful spot, it was a beautiful day. I was going to be rescued, it was just a matter of time. What could’ve been a real hassle, in a way, became a highlight of the weekend. I highly recommend finding a quiet spot, somewhere, somehow, and just listen to the bugs and the birds.
It was a flashback to my treatment days. I remember when I got my allogeneic bone marrow transplant, sitting on my hospital bed, not doing what I wanted to do, not being where I wanted to be. Of course, the problem I faced then threatened my life, while last week I faced a minor inconvenience.
But either way, the world managed without me for billions of years before I was born, and will manage without me for billions of years after I die. In the grand scope of things, our lives are just a fleeting moment. Sometimes, we just need to chill out, enjoy the moment, and soak up the little things. As much as we need to accomplish things and be productive, we need to stop and smell the roses, or in my case, look at the trees and field and listen to the bugs and birds.