I've had a couple of free bikes fall my way in the past. Just after I graduated from Ole Miss I subleased an apartment from a friend of a friend in Memphis. He left his mountain bike behind and said I could have it. It was a guy's bike and too big for me, but it was fun to zip around the apartment complex on. After about a year it got stolen off my patio. Easy come, easy go I guess.
A couple of years later Robert's friend ended up with another free, left-behind-at-an-apartment, mountain bike. He gave it to Robert to give to me. Again, guy's bike. Too big. And the gears were always messing up. Robert tinkered with the mechanics, adjusted the seat to a less offensive height, and invited me to go trail riding with him.
Sounds fun, right?
That's what I thought too.
Only the wide, dirt path snaking gently through the woods that I had so naively pictured in my mind was actually a treacherous, uneven trail about as wide as the bike tire in most places. There were tree roots, and rocks, and stumps, and hills, and fallen branches...
Needless to say, I fell. Several times. "Fell" probably not being the right word. "Wrecked" is more like it. I thought I'd never have another bike wreck past the age of like eight, but there was seriously bleeding and bruises and, eventually, dear Robert sweetly trying to search out a simpler path for his battered bride. Somehow I managed to escape with my life, if not my dignity.
Fast forward another year or so. My sister called me. She wanted a ride home from campus. "Bring the truck," she said. Turns out she had won this bike in a drawing.
A brand new, perfectly nice, cruising casually through town, non-mountain, girl's kind of bike.
She still rides it all the time, and I'm still jealous so recently I decided to paint it. I thought the secure wooden fence and soft green grass would give the whole thing a safe, happy feel. The carefree way you should feel riding a bike. I parted ways with that mountain bike that almost did me in so if the universe does happen to send me another free bike someday, I hope it's like this one.