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?