Whoever said diamonds were a girl’s best friend clearly never took a spin on a 2005 huffy mountain bike, that goes as fast as you can rotate your legs, through the streets of Cork—turns out, this can be pretty slow on a Monday bank holiday of Jazz weekend and can contribute to being just a tad late for practice. Sorry squad—In my defense, I was riding against the wind, and the chain was a bit rusty…
Anyways, a few weeks ago the Foley family generously donated their bike to me. It was late one night and I received a call from Mark telling me that he was outside with his wife with the bike. For me, this call was similar to the news you hear on Christmas morning from one of your siblings saying “SANTA CAME!!!!!” So, naturally, I ran down stairs to see the surprise, and there it was, propped on its kick stand, gleaming in the misting rain and car lights. “Omg, thank you!” I exclaimed, and proceeded to carry the bike into my apartment.
Stickered next to the “Huffy” label on the bike reads freedom, and, ironically enough, it’s exactly this that the bike provides for me. Freedom to have my own sense of autonomy in transport…freedom to go out for a leisurely spin to remove myself from college work…freedom to do what I want, when I want without having to depend on the bus timetable. It’s a companion when you’re stuck riding in the wind and rain and a partner that helps you conquer uphill battles (literally—Cathedral Road is no joke.) The bike is something I can rely on and similarly, has been a symbol of the people I have been able to rely on while living here. From the donation of the bike from the Foley’s, to the provided lock and light vest from the Cronin’s, to the safe place to keep it at Maddy & Linda’s , it all contributes to the network of support and care I’m continuously provided with by the Brunell community, and ultimately, what makes it more than just a bike.
So, to all the ladies (and gents) out there who have never battled the streets with your bike—give it a try. And while I’m accepting diamonds at any and all times (inquire further for my mailing address), I’m set with my Huffy for now.
Don’t have any regrets, just follow your dream. Take the bull by the horns and just do it, no matter how many things are on your to-do list.
-CIT Guest Lecturer Maria GIlsenen