When I initially started my bike search, I found an ad on Craigslist for two mint green Schwinn bikes. Hard to believe, I thought. The catch was, they were located in New River, a full hour away from me. I ignored the ad.

Day after day, I searched local ads and I kept missing out on bikes that were older, more expensive or uglier than I wanted. So I finally sent a message to the owner of the two mint green Schwinn bikes.

  • Yes, he would sell just one. Yippee!
  • Could he send me a picture of the sticker on the stem of the bike so I could check the size. A picture arrived on my phone. 700C–it was the right size!
  • I asked him to lower the seat as far as it would go and send me the measure from seat to floor. 32 inches. Perfect!

I asked to see it on Wednesday, which gave me three days to find something comparable closer. I found nothing.

How far would I drive to re-parent myself? to get Chrissie the bike she wanted as a kid but her mom could not afford? When Wednesday came, it was obvious that I would drive to New River, Arizona–about half-way between Phoenix and Sedona. On a whim, I asked my husband Ed to join me. We had both suffered jet lag and illness after our recent vacation and coming with me was a real act of support on his part. I will forever be grateful to this man for choosing me, everytime!

Ed and I chat and laugh for 45 minutes when “Nate,” the Navigator (with the male British voice–Ed’s jealous of him!) starts barking commands (and I obey! which also makes Ed jealous!). As we round a corner, in the middle of nowhere, the pavement disintegrates into post-monsoon wet gravel. Uh-oh. We pass a tiny, white church building to find nothing ahead of us but the dirt road and chaparral on both sides. In the recesses of my mind, I hear the dueling banjos of Deliverance fame. In that instant, I’m so glad my husband is with me. He will protect me, or at least be a witness!

Ed and I consider a quick u-turn and high-tailing it out of there…but we couldn’t find a place to turn around. And there it is, just like a dream come true! A mint green Schwinn bike parked in the concrete driveway of a mini mansion nestled into the desert landscape. Chrissie promptly falls in love! Chris and Ed exhale in relief.

I jump out of the car and my heart beat is so fast I could hear the thumps in my ears! Dan, the sender of texts with pictures and answers, emerges from the porch. He encourages me to take a test drive on the dirt (scary start, I’m not gonna lie). This bike is not built for dirt, so I understand why it was up for sale. It’s built for my suburban track house, not this desert oasis. Dan offers us a black male bike too for $50. We can’t pass either of them up! We pay with Paypal, and the instant the funds appear on his iPhone, we load them up. Ed and I drive all the way home in the rain, only stopping for lunch.

Re-parenting was successful! I’m happier as an adult because my younger self is delighted!

This is why I do generational work. Sometimes we can settle the old issues on our own with a second-hand bike. Other times we have to communicate to other generations. Either way, the freedom is worth it! How will you delight your younger self today?

Even more delight, my bell from Amsterdam–which started all this–looks so cute on the handlebars! I’m working on learning the brakes now. A helmet comes next!

 

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