I know where I stand with my old Trek. We are way past the honeymoon phase, and have settled into a comfortable routine. I know what gear I need to be in to successfully crest the Hill of Death and how fast I can take the Potholes of Panic. A ride to the library? Could do it in my sleep. Chug up Hurricane Creek? No problem. Weve got it all figured out.
My new bike, though, is still a mystery. Like some men I have known, it keeps me on my toes. Sometimes I wonder if I am out of my league. I approach it with both excitement and apprehension, trying to figure out what makes it tick. The gears are still an unknown. "Look at your chain ring!" Jerry says when I whine about not knowing where I am in the gears. Look at my chain ring? I'm just trying to stay upright! "I've ridden behind you for two miles and you haven't changed gears once!" he observes, riding annoyingly just at my shoulder. "Try standing up and pedaling!" he yells before sweeping away ahead of me, also annoyingly. (Note to Jerry: Love you.) Unlike my dear familiar Trek, this bike is still a nut I can't crack. It is also fascinating.
I like it though, once I get past the wobbly start, love the big tires that flow smoothly over the dirt and pavement and gravel. It seems improbable that I am in charge of this powerful creature. Instead, I am just along for the ride. I cling to its back like it is a horse, my hair flying out behind. There are moments where it feels like flying.
I still ride my Trek, though. It's the bike I learned to ride on, and I remember after days of frustration that magical moment when I began to pedal. We've got a history together that the new bike and I won't ever have. There's room in my life for both of them.