but stressing over a stolen bike ain’t one.
Growing up, I never really wanted things. Christmas would come around and it made me feel strange. The only thing I remember having a want for was a bike, but I don’t think I ever asked for it. I started on a red tricycle, then moved to a little bike with training wheels, also red. (Red bike kick was started thanks to PeeWee) All of the other kids on the street were either older or bigger than me, so they all rode two-wheelers before I did. Being a determined little girl, I would kick at my training wheels to loosen them. I recall kicking one up and trying to ride, which just felt weird. One day, my uncle took the trainers off and after a couple of attempts, he let go of my seat and I was golden on two wheels.
I outgrew my first bicycle and received a new one called the Tomahawk. I don’t remember the brand, but I do remember it having purple and black zebra-like stripes. It was my pride and joy. One afternoon, I parked it in our garage and went in for a snack. While inside, my grandmother casually told me a man was riding my bike. I went outside, my bike and the man were gone. I was devastated and had a difficult time wrapping my head around why a grown man would steal a bike from me. That was probably around 5th grade and I didn’t get another one until I was able to buy it myself.
Back in 2000, I made my first “big” solo purchase…and it was my first bike since the Tomahawk was stolen. As with almost everything else, I had criteria for what I wanted…
A) I wanted red, if possible.
B) I’m small, so my bike should be small.
C) No gears. The less I had to focus on while riding, the better.
So, what did I choose? The Hoffman SD4 and it was RED!!!
From 2000-2014, that was my bike. I was lucky enough to have something a little more cushy built for me last year, so the Hoffman had recently been reserved for off-road riding with the occasional city ride thrown in. At any rate, it was in great condition for being 15 years old and NEVER being worked on.
That was until about 2 weeks ago, when I once again had my bike stolen. I was robbed a few years ago, with almost everything of value being taken from my home, but this hit me a harder. The only reason I could figure was because of the sentimental value. All of those other things (stereo, camera, luggage, computer…) may have been more expensive, but I knew they could be replaced. My Hoffman couldn’t be replaced. I still went through the same emotional cycle though: surprised, then annoyed, then sad, then completely pissed. A couple weeks out and I’m still pissed that people steal in the first place, but I figure whoever did it must have needed it WAY MORE than I did.
Thieving bastards may have taken my old friend, but I quickly made a new one. I happen to know one of the sweetest people in the world. He felt so bad about what had happened, that he went searching for a Hoffman and surprised me with a newer, similar bike of the same brand. Today, I took my new friend out for a spin through the Florida wilderness and he treated me well. With a lighter frame, dirt tires and no pegs, this new ride seemed to glide over the rocks and hills. I had so much fun, I couldn’t be disappointed when I noticed it was actually Hunter Green, not Black. This was the first of many adventures with my new off-road partner.