Unlike the protagonist of Vittorio De Sica's 1948 movie of the same name, I didn't depend on my bike to make a living. It was a favorite possession that I bought for pleasure and exercise, and to help me enjoy the brief Seattle summers, and maybe soak up enough sunshine to combat this psoriasis that troubles so many northwesterners.
But still, I can't help but feel this is a very unfair fate, not just because I had my little Schwinn Ranger mountain bike for only three and a half months, but also because it was parked in a locked garage and secured on a thick drainpipe.
To no avail. Last night when our apartment building was visited by thieves and vandals who tagged the front door and forced the automated garage gate, of the three bikes parked in the garage my Schwinn was the one they wanted. Then, on their way out, they jammed the garage door opener's gears so the gate wouldn't shut. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut used to frequently say and/or write.
I discovered this sad state of affairs when I went downstairs to take a ride on the bicycle I no longer have late this morning. When I reported the theft to the building manager he offered to let me use one of his bikes, which a former tenant had abandoned when he moved. So I did get my ride after all on this lavishly gorgeous Seattle day, on a Schwinn Cross-Country which has seen better days, but still has good tires, a good seat, and at least one gear I can live with.
I think I'll try to buy or beg this hog of a bike off the manager, since I can't afford to go out and buy another one right now. The doctor I'm currently consulting is a naturopath, not an M.D., the medications I'm taking are nutritional supplements, not pharmaceutical prescription drugs, and the therapies I'm trying are experimental, so none of this is covered by Medicare or any other insurance. So it goes.
The old Cross-Country could actually be a pretty serviceable vehicle anyway, with a little work and a lot of WD-40 to loosen the rusted lug nuts and screws, so I can lower the seat, remove the toe clips, unfreeze the shifter mechanisms, lubricate the brakes, and so forth. And I really should count my blessings, because even though I lost a bike, Providence has supplied another if I'm willing to show a little initiative.
When life gives us lemons, we need to do one of two things: either make lemonade, or squirt our enemies in their eyes. That latter bit should tell you that I'm still hoping to spot my old Schwinn Ranger somewhere in the neighborhood.