Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Which A Faithful Friend Fails

Above:  Note the "hook" on the right, which is not hooked to anything because the basket is broken.  Below: The whole photo is a bit on a slant, but note how one side of the basket droops.

Epic fail.  My beat up old front basket is now beaten.  12/12/12 wasn’t a lucky day for it.

The basket predates my bicycle—it was the front basket on a previous bike for several years before that bike fell apart and Audrey bought me my current bicycle.  This basket has been on RAGBRAI twice—as much as I have.

But yesterday, when I parked my bike and then intended to go into the house to open the garage door, the bike suddenly tipped and landed, as it usually does the infrequent times when it falls, on the front basket.

Well, that’s happened several times before, including at least once on each RAGBRAI.  Part of the basket frame actually snapped due to a RAGBRAI fall, but I was able to fix the basket, two years ago, with some wire.

It’s a peculiarity of my particular bike that it tends to be a bit tippy when using the kickstand so there is a fall now and then.  So I merely picked the bike up and put it away.

This morning, when biking into work, I noticed the basket looked drunkenly lopsided; it was badly leaning, tilted to the left.

Well, it would.  Lean to the left I mean, since it’s the bicycle basket of a southpaw political liberal.

On closer inspection, a weight-bearing wire that connects to the brace that holds the basket on the bike is snapped.  That’s the death knell for this particular basket

Anyway, it’s not the first, but rather the second, front basket I’ve had for bike commuting purposes (and no, I am not counting the small plastic flowered one that a daughter of mine got for me as a joke).  This one has lasted longer and been more places, but it’s just a basket.

It’s we who endow things with meaning, we who miss the house we grew up in or the old family sedan or that fire-engine bedspread that was on our bed during our childhood.  It’s not the things so much that mean much to us—instead, it’s the memories and feeling we have which the things trigger.

Anyway, it’s a mere basket.  It’s a utilitarian thing.  It’ll easy to move on to a new basket.  But I admit on an irrational level a tiny bit of silly sadness as if a friend were passing out of my life.  It’s not you, basket, it’s me.  Still, so long.

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