I sold her bike just now.
The couple, let’s say an averagely good-looking, bordering on cute, dorky couple – wearing baseball caps for the baseball game, probably drinking IPA’s inside, and getting home early enough to wake up for their VAVI co-ed softball game in the morning – they were waiting for me by the bike rack outside of Petco Park. I set it up that way. Public place. No rape, no murder. Even though I wanted to have Alexis across the street with a coily clear rubber ear piece relaying me messages I decided to go alone. Mostly because I wanted to ride the bike down the hill and make sure it was all set to go. And if we both rode down only one could ride back. And then we’re stuck walking a bike.
So it was just me. And they bought the bike. She wanted to hand me the money on first site. That was all she needed. She didn’t want to ride it, for reasons I later came to understand, but he and I thought it a good idea to at least check it out, because we are men and we think checking things out is good.
This was a road bike with suicide brakes that wasn’t exactly for the casual rider. Not to mention there were 100s of people walking around for the Padres game. She got on. Took a few pedals. Was heading dangerously close to a group of people, I was wondering how she would get around them when I realized she didn’t know how to brake. Her feet dropped down and the soles of her shoes clung to the pavement but it was too late. She was halfway through the a-frame outside the coffee shop.
Her boyfriend was likely too embarrassed to ask if she was ok. That’s what I’m calling it anyway. Which is understandable, I would have broken up with her. But she made her way back with a smile that only a few below average softball players with good hearts could pull off. And for some reason… they said they’d take it. The bike she crashed within 5 seconds of riding. The one she’ll never want to ride again. The one that probably ended her relationship when there were still good months left. All because she felt obligated. Because it pains us all to let other people down. The least she could have done after nearly killing herself in front of 700 people was give me $120 for a bike she hated.