I Want To Ride My Bicycle…

…I want to ride my bike. – Queen

To be honest, I’d rather drive. But alas, I am forbidden. So I must ride my bike, walk, or rely on the generosity of others and their vehicles. The weather has been excellent and my neighbors are very, very kind, so it hasn’t been an issue yet.

I bought a new helmet since my old one was about 15 years old and I was told it wouldn’t protect my melon. I figured my melon’s been through enough already and with the seizure risk looming overhead, it was worth the money (and it’s WAY cooler than my old one.) I got baskets (folding, no less) for the back of my bike, so that I can carry groceries, kids’ backpacks, scooters, things like that. My neighbor kindly drives them to school with her daughter, so morning’s are covered. Getting them back home, I’d like to manage on my own as much as possible, though. My kids have bikes, but they don’t fit in my super awesome baskets, unfortunately. Folded scooters and helmets do fit, but if you’ve ever ridden a scooter on a sidewalk for more than a mile, you’ll understand that it’s not their first choice of transportation home from school. So we walk, which makes the dog happy since I take him along. The kids happiness when they find out we’re walking depends on the day. I’ve determined the ratio of whining is directly related to the temperature – hot or cold. Maybe next week we’ll try riding bikes to school in the morning so they’ll have bikes there to ride home…but that would require all of us to get up earlier and 2 out of 3 of us are NOT morning people.

If we were in the southern hemisphere, the timing would be great – we’d be going into spring. However, we, up here in the northern hemisphere, are going into fall and winter during my ‘no driving’ period. So, when the weather turns bad, which it will, I’ll be even less independent or we’ll be cold and wet on a regular basis.

I understand why I can’t drive and I have no qualms with it, other than it limiting my independence. Also, it ultimately increases the impact of my ‘situation’ on my husband, family, and friends, because they have to help do more. I hate, hate, hate being so dependent on others for every day things. I like being able to run to the store for ‘that thing’ I need to finish a project/meal or to get laundry soap when I run out in the middle of laundry day or take my kids to their dentist appointments. My kids have after school activities and while we’ve managed to work out rides and schedules pretty well, there’s no way we could do more. When soccer season and on-campus activities end in the next few weeks, we’ll have to re-evaluate what we can coordinate.

I know that there are thousands of people who manage to get around without a car – shuttling themselves and their kids to and from places on a bus, train, taxi, bikes or feet. But when you’re used to that independence having a car offers and it’s taken away, it’s tough. I know…’poor me.’ I will hopefully get my driving privileges back in a few months, but until then I’ll suck it up and ask for help when I can’t get it done on 2 wheels or 2 feet. If brain cancer and seizures have taught me anything, it’s that sometimes you just need to be grateful you’re around to ride your bike or walk your kids home from school.