PEDAL PUSHERS: Free your bicycle from the dreaded room of shame

Deep in the depths of your strata there is the “room.”

It’s probably accessible from the parkade. A locked steel door marks its silent presence. Like the tomb of Tutankhamun, there are many treasures inside. Centuries from now archaeologists will uncover millions of “rooms” like this. Maybe they’ll conclude the contents were treasured objects. Shshhhh, this is the bike “room.” The place where all the bikes go to gather dust and rust.

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Bikes just refer to it as “room” like in that creepy movie.

Oh, sure there are a couple of bikes that get out on a regular basis. These are the lucky ones. They come back to “room” with exciting tales of their day. Hopping over curbs, zooming down the Lions Gate Bridge causeway, quietly protecting and carrying their owner, helping their owner stay healthy. They tell the others how their owner loves them and could hardly travel without them. How they would never let them waste away in “room.”

Small comfort for the rest who languish. They grow sad, wistful and literally flat. They wonder silently just what is wrong with them. Wrong handlebars? If only I had a banana seat! Maybe I smell, or I offended my owner the last time my tire went flat. Wrong color? Wrong style? Oh, the self doubt!

Nurturing these neuroses, first they become glum. “Aren’t I as good as that car?”

Then they start justifying: “Even if I did go out, I wouldn’t enjoy it. It’s so quiet in here, who would want to go out into the world? All those birds singing? Bah. We are warm and dry. Our chains will never rust. Our cables will never stretch like those bikes being ridden. Our owners are too fat for us anyway.”

Sometimes we overhear these conversations and can’t bear the sadness.

Listen all you unused bikes – we here at Pedal Pushers want to ride you all, tell you that there’s really nothing wrong with any of you. You are all beautiful. Useful. The world could be a better place if you were out on the streets. It’s just a matter of time (and air in your tires).

Speak with your owner. Whisper her name when she enters “room.” Let her know just how important she is to you. Sneak out at night and let the air out of her car tires. Take action! Rattle your chains! Organize and be heard.

People, we know you feel guilty about your sad, ever hopeful ride waiting for you. Unloved. Untended. No air in its tires. Stuck with all the other loser bikes. Make it a promise to yourself (and your beloved in the basement) that this weekend you’ll venture down to “room” and release your friend.

Pump it up. Oil the chain. Get on and ride. Just ride.

The mutual happiness will fill your heart.

The North Shore Pedal Pushers are Heather Drugge and Antje Wahl. The guy who makes the column readable, Dan Campbell, prefers driving. See – we can all work together.

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