Monday, 6 May 2019

The Bicycle


After much thought and deliberation I have come to the conclusion that bicycles are dangerous and should be abolished. I don’t mean motorcycles; but common old pedal cycles.

Let me explain.

In an effort to be environmentally friendly and to save the planet I’ve decided to cycle to work instead of taking the car. “Quite laudable”, I hear you say; and you’d better say it because I’ve risked life and limb to save this planet of ours from pollution and whatever else it suffers from.

Besides, gas (petrol) costs so much these days, so a bit of cycling would save me money, I thought. These days when I fill the tank it costs me more than the value of the car itself.

As I was saying before I interrupted myself … I bought a new bicycle and with it a book entitled “How to ride a bike in one easy lesson!” You should read it I think … all one hundred pages of it!

My first difficulty was reading the book and attempting to cycle at the same time. Can’t be done! Not enough hands to hold the book and handlebars simultaneously.

So I rode the bike, leant on a nearby tree on the sidewalk, and read the book.

Passers-by wondered what I was doing but I fooled them by looking at my watch every now and then and pretending I was waiting for someone.

Eventually, I was ready to go. I put the book in the little pannier at the front of the bike, and eased myself gently away from the tree.

For some unexplained reason my feet froze on the pedals and the cycle did not move. It stood still for a second or two and then fell horizontally to the left.

I hit my head hard on the grass verge, but luckily I was wearing my new helmet which softened the blow somewhat akin to being punched hard by a champion boxer. I waited for a count of ten before getting up again.

I leant against the tree, re-read the first chapter of the book, and started again.

Success! This time I fell horizontally to the right and hit my head hard on the firm tarmac. The helmet was not as effective at softening the blow.

Several falls later, five to the left and four to the right, I decided to change strategy.

This time I pressed hard on the pedals as I moved away from the tree. The bicycle moved forward a few yards but then lost momentum and fell … to the right I think!

My determination egged me forward as I eventually managed to turn the pedals a few more times and move further on … wobbling as I went.

And then disaster struck. My trousers got caught in the chain contraption near the pedals and the bicycle jumped forward like a bucking bronco throwing me head first over the handlebars and landing me hard on my back with the bike on top of me still attached to my trouser leg.

The next day I tried again. I really had to master this new mode of transport over the weekend if I’m to cycle to work on Monday.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

I think I’ve invented, or to be more accurate, discovered, a major improvement to be incorporated in the manufacture of bicycles. They should all be fitted with satellite navigation systems as a standard feature.

This is essential, I believe, to avoid the dangers of cycling at some speed into trees, lamp posts, letter boxes and other street furniture.

As I managed to gain forward movement I noticed that my cycle always managed to go straight for a stationary object rather than avoid it as a car would do.

Somehow, the handle bars would wobble left and right yet still propel the bike towards the obstacle it is meant to avoid.

Anyway … what’s all this leading to, I hear you say.

Basically, it’s that this latest experience reminded me of a story an old priest friend of mine told me years ago.

Once upon a time there was a young boy of six who’d been taught by his parents that Jesus is always with him. Protecting him, helping him, and guiding him throughout life.

One Sunday afternoon they all went out cycling in the park. Mom and dad on their bicycles followed by the six-years old on his small tri-cycle!

They cycled gently until they reached a small hill. Easy enough for the parents to climb; but a little hard on the little boy, despite his parents' encouragement.

He pedaled as hard as he could with his little legs but the tri-cycle would not move forward; in fact it was sliding backwards somewhat.

Eventually the boy got off his cycle and said: “It’s no use Jesus. You’ll have to get off the bike and help me push!”

Now why can’t we have as much Faith?

30 comments:

  1. Oh how sweet and wonderful this story is.
    How precious that the little boy could ask Jesus to get off his bike and help him to push it up the hill! Love it!!!
    As for you Victor, stick to driving your car...it's safer!!!

    God's Blessings ✝

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a wonderful story, told me by a priest years ago. If only we all had such faith as that boy.

      God bless you, Jan, my friend.

      Delete
  2. Some good lessons to be learned here! I hope that subsequent biking trials go more smoothly for you.

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    1. Nope ... given up ... if the planet wants to be saved it will have to learn to cycle by itself.

      God bless you, Kathy.

      Delete
  3. Ahhh... all of that hilarity to lead us to a wonderful lesson of faith!! Happy week, Victor!

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    1. Thank you Terri. Wishing you the best of times all the time.

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. Funny Victor! Have you never heard the phrase: "It's as easy as learning to ride a bike"? Next time, bring Jesus along ... and a LOT of 'attitude' to conquer the forces of gravity. Or maybe, you could try riding a 'three-wheeler' for adults?! They're much more STABLE ... but not as 'COOL'!

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    1. You make a good point Suzanne. Why can't they make three-wheelers more fashionable. They are safer, and would encourage many people to get off their cars and cycle places. The technology is there; but the good advertising is not.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  5. I used to bike ride a lot. I had a kid trailer for my daughter when she was little. We lost bike and kid trailer in hurricane Harvey

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    1. What is the point of saving the planet if hurricane Harvey steals our bicycles?

      I hope you were/are all safe, Akasha. God bless you and yours.

      Delete
  6. Another delight-full lesson! I've not been particularly fond of bicycles since 6th grade when one 'threw me' over its handlebars and into a ditch.
    Perhaps you might tie a rope from your handlebars to some unsuspecting commuter's bumper and let him tow you into the city.

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    1. I've learnt from experience, Mevely, that bicycles are very dangerous. Motorbikes even more so because they go faster. A friend let me try his motorbike years ago. I stood there with the bike under me. I turned the throttle. The bike roared, then shot off at speed with me still standing there. It nearly took my "bits" with it as it flew away solo. Never again!!!

      God bless you, Mevely.

      Delete
  7. Oh, I love the moral of the story, Victor! I can't remember the last time I rode a bike. Wonder if I still can?
    Blessings!

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    1. I have not bothered with bicycles again. They are dangerous I tell you. As a driver, I also find cyclists dangerous. They speed in between cars and ignore traffic lights or road safety rules. I hope it's different in the US. I know from when I visited the US that you have rules against jay-walking. We should have the same here; and rules against jay-cycling too. Some idiots think that because they were a helmet then they are safe to cycle stupidly.

      Sorry to rant, Martha. God bless.

      Delete
    2. That should read "wear a helmet". Someone should teach computers how to spell.

      God bless, Martha.

      Delete
  8. Nice story Victor. There's always a lesson to learn. Gotta have faith!
    Thank you!

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  9. An enjoyable read. Ah to have the faith of that six year old trying to get up the hill!

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    1. Yes indeed, if only we all had that faith.

      God bless you Liberty Belle.

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  10. We all need the faith of a child!!

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  11. You are such a great storyteller, Victor!
    Thanks for the giggles and for the reminder of how & where to put our trust and faith.

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    1. You are very kind and generous, Chris. Thank you for your nice compliment.

      God bless you my friend.

      Delete
  12. As kids we could ride with no hands on the handlebar, steering by shifting your weight. Lat time I rode, I held on with two hands as tight as I could.

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    1. I guess it's because when we were kids we were fearless. Indestructible.

      God bless you, JoeH.

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  13. That is right, we should have the same mind-set as this child, knowing that Jesus is with us even in the trials, which strengthen us.

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  14. :)

    Oddly enough, I've yet to see someone propose an alternative transportation technology with even less environmental impact than the bicycle: the pogo stick!

    Think of it! Instead of paved roads and bike paths, we could have small spots of paving, spaced one 'hop' apart!

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    1. Great idea, Brian.

      Seriously though, why can't they encourage more people to ride three-wheeled cycles. They are safe(r), environmentally friendly, and would not look odd if more people used them. The technology is there; it is more an image problem.

      God bless you, Brian.

      Delete

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