I rode two wheels, wobbly and supported, round my driveway at first, up and down,
Then to school, then all over my hometown, through all its forests, then everywhere.
My curiosity always out-paced my stride,
Only ever satisfied with the steady-cadence of the two-wheeled strokes of push, and pull.
I rode two wheels around capes, around islands, around continents.
Two wheels, two wheels.
I rode two wheels through an ex-Dutch colony, all palms and canals, malaria jungles and forgotten smuggler coves,
Through a savannah so wide and vast the sky collapsed down in torrents with no-one but me and my wheels to witness,
Two wheels took me to my engagement in a river canyon in Bali, my soon-to-be-fiancé holding tight on the back through the rice paddies and skinny cobble walkways.
Two wheels have saved me, over and over,
Offering solace when the concern of the world wouldn’t let go,
Burdens won’t fit on the back of two wheels.
The push, push, coast, push, glide,
Waving faster traffic by with an air of no-hurry here,
A freedom, a pragmatism, only ever envied by four wheels;
This cityscape alley here, this almost hidden address there, this side-street cafe protesting to be happened-upon, this mountain hairpin all leaning into the bank, this beachside boardwalk in the sun, this dugout canoe in the Amazon to the next shore.
Two wheels bestowed on me safe passage where there was never any,
Rain season mud roads impassable, two wheels found the only way,
Two-wheels careened-up hotel steps to park in the lobby by the pool-table safe in the night-watchman’s shift.
I seamlessly joined in the frenzied schools of two-wheels’ Friday rush-hour crush,
Two-wheel student scooters, or motorcycle cops, shepherded me through the grids and expressways as pathfinders.
Two wheels earned me my stripes though, over and over,
The disciplining of my pride in Buenos Aires with grazes and weeks of stinging showers when the chain came off,
The sublimation of my prudence when I returned to head-scratch that the lock had simply been cut,
Long, treacherous helmet scrapes down an oily northern Peruvian national highway into oncoming traffic,
Two wheels demand maintenance and restraint whenever you begin to assume you are the one in control.
Now two wheels take me to morning coffee with my wife,
Criss-crossing and domestic over-the-shoulder chats on the pedals,
And to sandy round and round circles with my daughter clinging koala-tight on the back after the beach.
Two wheels for my life,
Two wheels for my soul.
Two wheels teach, and inspire, and point to the wide openness...
Always over there, always round that bend,
Always and forever, two wheels.
Two wheels take me to where the Truth always is - cjG