There I was, in an empty parking lot, practicing how to ride my new wheels (lacking the confidence to venture out on the road yet) when I braked to a stop with my front wheel turned slightly to the left.
In slow motion, the bike started to fall. I strained to hold onto the handlebars and keep the 560 lb. SuperLow® from falling over to its side. I was doing okay—holding off the fall—until I accidentally rolled the throttle. The engine roared like a plane and the bike lurched forward, fell to the ground, and stopped.
I was stunned. It happened so fast I really didn’t know what had happened at all.
I walked the few steps forward to where the bike lay. As I stood there checking it over (my baby didn’t have a scratch on it when I bought it two weeks earlier), I noticed a new problem: gasoline dribbling out from under the gas cap onto the ground. Oh crap. I faced the bike on its left side and hefted it up a few inches to stop the gas from leaking more. Holding the bike at this awkward angle, I considered my options.
I thought back to the YouTube video I’d watched weeks ago. I decided to attempt the strategy I remembered. I turned around so my butt faced the bike and looked under it for where I could place my hands and lift the bike. I bent my knees and scooted low to the ground. Gripping the bike with my arms straight, with every drop of energy that I could summon from my body, I used my legs to step backwards bit-by-bit and lift the bike.
I did it.
I! Did! It!
I did it!
I stood, beaming, and held the bike as I my foot searched for the kickstand. I could see it; I just needed to finagle my foot to hook and push it down. As I maneuvered my foot around—eager to let go of my load—a dude in a pickup truck pulled into the parking lot and stopped in front of me.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’m good. Thanks. I’m just trying to get the kickstand down.”
He hopped out of his truck and did it for me (I didn’t need his help at that point, but I let him have his White Knight Moment). When the kickstand was down, I released the bike and let it stand on its own.
“There you go,” Dude said.
“Hey, thanks. I appreciate it,” I said.
“No problem,” he said, and much to my relief, took off.
Once I was alone again, I looked over the surface of the bike. I expected it to be pretty scratched up, but I was lucky: it just had a minor scrape on the chrome of one rear view mirror.
A second car pulled up. “Do you need any help?” New Guy asked.
“Nah. I’m all set. Thank you though,” I said.
“Okay, just checking,” he said and drove away.
I got on the bike, started her up, and sat there a moment. I was humbled by the offers of help that appeared out of nowhere, like guardian angels answering a distress call. I was grateful that my bike was undamaged. I was incredibly proud that I’d been able to lift my bike on my own.
I felt amazing.
Independent. Self-reliant. Strong.