When I came back to New York last Friday, my bike was gone. It had three locks on it, but it didn’t matter. It had vanished.
I know. It’s just a bike, right? This happens all the time.
But, sometimes I think about what the thieves were like, where they are now, where my bike is. I think about it being in a warehouse with other bikes, or being sold, or being painted to hide its identity. I think about how they may have plotted to steal it, about how much time it took to hack through my heavy-duty cloth-covered chain in the dead of night.
I wonder who it will belong to now.
On the weekend at my mother’s house in New Jersey, I mourned my bike and the things it gave me: the discovery of neighborhood cafes and restaurants, the freedom of meandering the city to my leisure, the windblown rush of zipping down streets crowded with honking cars—ultimately, a sense of belonging in New York. I would feel it when stopped at a red light with other cyclists, or co-yelling at tourists in the bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge. We were one unit; we were bicyclists.
I hadn’t historically been the biggest fan of New York—but having a bike had helped to shift that for me.
After the weekend on Monday, a lot of shitty things happened—Tony and I were feeling distant, I missed classes I’d signed up for, and I hardly got any work done. For much of the day, I stared at a cheap bike online I was half-heartedly going to order, then never pulled the trigger.
At the end of the day, I got on a Citibike and rode. I flew down the Hudson River Greenway at sunset, watching the colors change, couples and friends picnic-ing on the grass.
I felt called to eat a kind of food that I only eat on special occasions—Greek. I biked down to TriBeCa and found a beautiful fairytale restaurant called The Greek.
I sat at the bar and had a delicious salad and a glass of wine, and the woman next to me and I began talking. Her name was Lori. She ordered the white wine that “tasted most like stones,” and she seemed to know everyone at the restaurant.
Tony came to meet up with me, and after we excitedly caught up and re-aligned, we turned toward Lori and resumed chatting. We happened to start talking about how I got Tony into biking when we started dating, and how biking is a huge part of our relationship, our CompetiCleanse, and our discovery whenever we travel.
“Though,” I said, “my bike got stolen last Friday. I’ve been pretty sad about it.”
“Really…?” said Lori.
It turned out, Lori had been trying to get rid of a bike for some time that someone had given her that she no longer rode. It was a vintage Cannondale road bike made in February 1996, in good condition. When she left, she gave me her number and invited me to come see the bike the next day.
Tony and I could not contain ourselves when she left. How could this be possible? What luck!
“You’re magical!” Tony said. “You manifested a new bike!”
I felt perplexed. I had manifested a bike… but had I really? I hadn’t done any visualization. I hadn’t made my intention pure and known to get a free bike. It hadn’t occurred to me that my next bike would be coming. I hadn’t even had a very good day—a lot of things were out of alignment when I made the decision to go to The Greek.
I had just, simply, loved biking a fucking lot.
I felt deeply into my loving and my loss, and I felt grateful for the freedom biking gave me.
I did nothing else.
(It should be noted—I also loved coworking a fucking lot, and I wasn’t thinking about meeting an amazing man at all—then I met Tony at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference.)
So I’m thinking: Maybe we could be open to the idea that sometimes we aren’t creating our reality—and that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes, we are truly receiving gifts, and we can be grateful for those gifts, not self-righteous about how we “made it happen.”
The idea that my love of something had earned me a gift from the Universe felt much more aligned to me than thinking I was wholly responsible for manifesting it.
And so I present to you my bicycle, “The Greek.” I love him, he loves me, and his fashion statement is multiple U-locks.