on cycling.


There’s a pretty neat website called Ruminations. It’s what it sounds like.  People make accounts, and, not unlike Twitter, you post anecdotes of a limited number of characters. What I like about this site (and what makes it different from some other social media) is that it is focused on encouraging clever, substantial observations, rather than just allowing everyone in the world to post every thought sans filter.

I created an account because I thought it might be my Cup of Tea, if you will [and you will].

I wanted to expound on my first one with you in a place where I was not confined by a letters-numbers-and-symbols limit. It is queued up for approval right now; but essentially, it says:

“Lately, I’ve been bumming about always  being the 3rd Wheel. Today I realized: without the 3rd Wheel, there would be no tricycles. . .”

The (one) good thing about this analogy is that I can feel somewhat okay about myself when faced with the inevitable Trike Scenario. Because tricycles are useful. And they have whimsy. So, next time I am sitting next to a Happy Couple checking my text inbox while they recite Keats to each other, I can have a  have bizarre pseudo-pep-talk inner monologue: You are useful, Beth Hopkins. You have whimsy.

I have to admit, this is not entirely helpful. There are reasons why this analogy may not serve me well in the end. Including but not limited to:

  • Tricycles outlive their usefulness and are passed around from place to place like old, ratty Christmas sweaters.
  • Most are embarrassed by their tricycles on some level, completely forgetting about it when Bike Time rolls around.
  • Tricycles are little and squeaky.

You can see now why any motivational self-speech about being a 3rd Wheel has brevity as one of its few strongpoints. Some may argue that to be part of a trike is better than being left to fly solo. But even a unicycle, though lonesome, is wild, free, and uninhibited. I have navigated a like course well for many years. There are potholes and pitfalls abounding, but there are heights along the road.

But when company arrives, the Trike rides again.  Two  glide along behind me, while  I  remain am the gaudy, front-and-center mark; the vortex of  our awkward, three-prong locomotion.

What about the Hippie’s favorite mode of transport?  Where is the bike analogy?

Regrettably, any of my  practical life experiences that can be applied to the One-of-Two Perspective are scant and scattered.

To date, the closest I have come to the Bike Stage is a lady (quite literally)  mistaking me for a bicycle in the bathroom of a popular local  bar. All she could see  beneath the bottom edge of the stall door was one of my chair tires, and she asked my friend, completely serious “Does she have a bicycle in there?!” as if I was not inches away, in a wheelchair accessible stall.

Believe me, I wish I was kidding.

The poetic, intangible parallels of what a bike is like are yet lost on me. Perhaps someday, I will be one of two parts, holding up equal weight: shiny and new, adorned with dice and playing cards.

Until then, I promise to coast along as usual: doing my best to make things easy for the pairs in my life and raise their Whimsy Quotient . After all, as the Stooges and the Musketeers will tell you, trios are cool, too.

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5 thoughts on “on cycling.

  1. But consider this: without a third, a triangle would just be an angle. A trifecta would just be a fecta. And a trilogy would just be a logy. And all of those would be pretty weird (okay, maybe not the angles since they are natural-mathematical occurrences, but still). So don’t ever underscore your value, my beloved friend. Soon enough you’ll get the chance to be one of the back two wheels asking the third to pull you along.

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