Monday Blues: A New Bend to the Bar

Oh, the pain was intense. The left drop of the handlebars had been bent, pushed over toward the right at an impossible angle. The deafening sound of crushing still weighed down heavily, even as the roar and the rumble of the forklift, pushing its heavy load, receded down the long aisle. It took time, but the bike had learned to push its fears of those machines aside, In one flash of an instant they had all come back in vivid colors. The forklift never wavered, its red, spinning eye glowing with malevolence, it crushed then simply drove away. The bike's owner would not return for another two hours. Only then would the deformity be noticed. What would happen? How would they get back home?

It was a bike called Miyata. It carried that name right on its gleaming silver tubes, and did so with honor. It was a bike that was neither light, nor sleek, though in its time it was viewed with some respect. It did not live a glamorous life. It was not pampered with a daily maintenance routine. But it was dependable - nearly everyday it carried its owner to work in the big warehouse. Both bike and owner labored long and hard hours during their day.

Once they arrived at the warehouse the bike would be locked out of the way. It felt secure there. It was a quiet spot, but it was also light and a cool breeze would blow through. This was in contrast to the rest of the warehouse which usually bustled with activity, the people inside sweating at their labors. All this activity created a great rumbling in the warehouse, but it was mostly further away. From its locked away vantage the bike could see up a couple aisles along which forklifts drove. Forklifts scared the bike. They were brutish things, pushing large loads around, moving them from one place to another. Mostly, though, they kept away from the bike. There wasn't much in his area that needed to be pushed or moved. 

There was this once during the dark, cold time of the year, a time when the warehouse became especially busy. Extra space was needed for all the boxes and crates, and so they were crowded in around the bikes' parking spot. Stacked high, the boxes constricted the view. That is until the forklift came - the rumble grew louder and closer than it had ever done before; the red flashing of its single eye grew brighter as it was reflected off the towering boxes. There was an ominous mechanical sound and the boxes right next to the bike were lifted and moved away. 

The bike thought of that close encounter for days, weeks afterward, but things, the daily routine gradually returned to normal. Fear slipped from the bikes' thoughts - it was summer, the days long, warm and bright. It was a good time to be out in the air, it was exciting to race along the streets to and from the warehouse as fast as its wheels, and the owners' legs could propel them. Not even the rumbling and echoing of the forklifts, during the middle hours of the day, could dampen the bikes' enthusiasm for the morning ride to the warehouse, nor the return ride home in the evening.

But then it happened again. The bent handlebars that would need to be replaced. Time off the road, time away from the owner. Worse, though, was the fear that had returned. No matter how nice the morning, how colorful the sunrise, how smooth the road, the ride to the warehouse would now be tempered with apprehension, and that would remain until the ride home. Could things ever be the same again?

Blue: A color, a mood or emotion, a genre of music. Tune in each Monday for another installment of the Blues, with a cycling twist.