A flat tire and an e-bike

Evening bike rides were a common thing for me before my twenties, I remember having a grey mountain bike, and even while it didn’t cost me much, I was very proud of it. I worked many weeks until I had enough money to buy it.

A friend of mine and I rode our bikes in the city for hours; we’d go on Avenida Patria, a busy avenue in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, but it was somewhat safe due to its wide shoulder. One of our common routes went through a hilly neighborhood. It was challenging but also my favorite part of our route.

My bike wasn’t anything special, but I had invested in a portable air pump, a flat tire repair kit, and even a water bottle holder. I was serious about my bicycle and my rides. I remember thinking about anything I could ever need during one of my bike rides, so I prepared for it.

More than two decades have passed now, and for most of those years, I haven’t ridden many bicycles. I owned one but seldom used it. Last year my wife got me an electric bike, it was a great gift, and since it is electric, it’s effortless to ride the hilly streets around Seattle, the place where we live now.

The electric bike is fast, and it is a lot of fun to ride. It also came with two saddlebags that allow me to transport some of my camera equipment when I go on some photography adventures.

Everything about this bike is good. When the weather permits and I am not feeling lazy, I go for bike rides around Seattle and the many trails around the area. It’s beautiful, but I feel lazy more often than I’d like to admit.

Yesterday, I was riding my bike on the South Ship Canal Trail towards Discovery park, then suddenly, the bike started to feel heavier, and within seconds I knew something was wrong. My e-bike, with all of its technological advancements, had stepped right into a large nail. That’s right, several years later, and many advances in technology had done nothing about the fact that bikes, electric or not, can still get flat tires.

What do you do if your bike has a flat tire? My seventeen-year-old self will not only know how to patch it, but he will also have and carry all of the necessary equipment to do it. Electric bikes aren’t that easy to deal with when they get a flat tire, at least not for me. I wasn’t carrying any tools or equipment to deal with a flat tire. My seventeen-year-old self would be disappointed.

That’s the story, and I learned that having a more technologically advanced bike than the one I had over two decades ago and many years of life experience didn’t make it any easier for me to deal with this. It is all the more challenging now.

There is something better than before, calling for help and looking for a bike shop is way easier now than ever; having a mini-computer in my pocket at all times beats having a flat tire repair kit and not know what to do with it.

Yay for technology!

How do you remember things?

I like to walk around the city 2 or 3 times a week and walk between 5 to 8 miles. I do it for exercise but also as an excuse to get out of the house. Often, these walks are paired with a good podcast or audiobook, but recently I started to try something new.

Last week during one of these walks, the podcast I was listening to ended, and I didn’t have anything else in my queue. I decided to just keep walking without listening to anything, and then something remarkable happened.

Out of nowhere, I started remembering things from when I was a child. It was me eating one of those unhealthy extra-sugary cereals and being very happy about it, holding one of my toys in one hand and a small spoon in the other. It looks me by surprise. I thought, why am I remembering this? Then I purposely started to dig into my memories more and more.

I was able to go as far back as kindergarten when I was at a table with two other kids playing with play dough. It was me with a happy face, opening a brand box of play dough with multiple colorful tubes of this fantastic product.

After several minutes of reliving memories from different stages of my life, I stopped and started thinking about how or what I can do to control my memories. For example, what if I tried hard and remembered all of the times I did something for the first time? The first time I drove a car by myself, my first kiss, my first day at school, my first job, first fight, first roller coaster, the first book, etc. I think you get the point.

What if I started to remember and write down all of these things? I don’t know about you, but this sounds very interesting to me, and I am currently in the process of doing it.

There you have it, that was something remarkable, and it resulted from not having something to listen to while walking. There is an excellent lesson to be learned there, and I am not going to attempt to know what that is, but something is inevitable; I will walk without listening to anything but my own thoughts, memories, and the sounds around me more often now.

What about you? What do you do to focus and remember specific things that might not come to mind often?