New York City summers are notorious for being hot and humid. You walk outside for a few minutes and you cannot wait to get back into your air-conditioned residence/work. Sometimes there are days when the temperature is relatively cool, with low humidity. When this happens on a Sunday, it is a special treat. This past Sunday, August 6, 2017, was one of those days. I planned a full day of bike riding, starting in Westchester and riding northward. I got an early start and took my bike out of the SUV. While walking the bike up the path to begin the ride, I checked the brakes. The front brake locked on me and I could not move the front tire.
I am not any better at fixing mechanical problems with bicycles as I am with cars. Therefore, after realizing I could not fix the problem, I tried flagging down a fellow bike rider. The first one who stopped checked one thing out but could not find the problem. He did not have the right size allen wrench to try to loosen the brake so that I would at least be able to move the tire. After asking a few more riders to help, to no avail, I put the bike back in the SUV and made the trek back home, having wasted time and paying two tolls for nothing. Also, I was upset that my plans were for naught and I now was unable to take advantage of the nice weather and take a long bike ride.
I then received an email from someone who needed me to drive him somewhere. If I had been riding I would not have been able to help him. However, since I had to go back home to get my bike fixed, I was able to drive the person. Although we do not know why things happen, we do know that they happen for a reason. Our inability to know the reason should not stop us from learning a message from a particular situation.
I then received an email from someone
who needed me to drive him somewhere. If I had been riding I would not have been able to help him. However, since I had to go back home to get my bike fixed, I was able to drive the person
I realized that instead of being upset that I was unable to do the ride that I wanted because of circumstances beyond my control, I should be thankful that I can ride. As I get older, I see more of my contemporaries having physical issues. Time is our enemy. Exercise becomes more important as we age since we need to try to fight the natural deterioration of our bodies. Nevertheless, as one of the younger bike riders pointed out to me, he is amazed at how people in their 60s are able to ride much longer than he who is a steady rider and half their age. Bicycle riding happens to be one area where aging is not as much of an impediment as in other activities.
It is important to end on a positive note. Although it has been many years since I graduated high school, it is always nice to see former classmates. This past week I saw three former classmates who are as active as they were in high school: one gave a shiur on Tishah B’Av, another danced at his son’s wedding, and the third gave a concert in Long Beach. May Hashem grant us all good health.
Warren S. Hecht is a local attorney. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org