On a recent commute home, I stopped at a local convenience store for some "post ride liquid refreshment". As I was walking in, a lady stopped me and ask what the little thing was that I had dangling from my helmet.I explained that it was a mirror to help me see what was behind me. I asked her if it looked dorky? She changed the subject and went on to explain that she was 40 years old and had, at the ripe age of 38, just learned to ride a bike.
I wasn't sure whether to be happy for her achievement or greatly saddened by her neglect. I can't imagine going your whole life without having ridden a bicycle. What about the overwhelming joyous experience the first time your Dad let go of the seat and you actually stayed upright on 2 wheels? What about the freedom and escape and adventure afforded by a bike ride? What about the daring of riding your first wheelie or jumping your first ramp or riding with no hands? To be robbed of such simple pleasures is a tragedy of sorts.
I figured this lady had been deprived enough in her life, the last thing she needed was for me to open up old wounds. Instead I simply smiled, said "good for you". Now, I hope she gets out there and rides, she has a lot of lost time to make up for. Given the fact that she never answered my "dorky" question, I have a feeling she'll never put a mirror on her bike helmet.