Friday, September 25, 2020

5年前に帰郷してから私の足代わりになってくれた自転車とついにお別れしました。この自転車、中学に入った時に父に買ってもらったもので半世紀は優に経っていますが、長い間物置に眠っていたものを近所の影山自転車のおじさんに見せたら「ええ自転車や、まだまだ乗れる」と言われ、タイヤを取り替えブレーキを直してもらって大活躍。彦根へ買い物に行く時、図書館に本を探しに行く時、夜中にコンビニに走る時、私の愛車となって支えてくれました。さすがに錆びつき、カゴも中学の時に転んで歪んだまま、前を照らす電気はいくら漕いでも時々消えたりのまことに覚束ない光でしたが、年月の割には車体は頑丈で影山さんもサイクリストの沢さんも今どきこんなしっかりした自転車はないと太鼓判を押してくださっていました。しかしながら、買い物に行くには近江線やJRの鉄道を交差する道路が下に潜っているため上り坂が一回か二回、図書館に行くのも上り坂。膨れたバックパックを背負っての帰り道は正直憂鬱。先日、ふとした折に使わせてもらった電動アシストの自転車のあまりの快適さにびっくり。以来、加速をつけるも坂を登りきる時にはほとんど止まりそうなぐらいになる我が身と古自転車が恨めしくなっていました。愛着のある自転車もそろそろ潮時かなと思い、友人Hさんの車で手伝ってもらって本日電動自転車に買い替えました。今、古自転車の位置にピカピカの電動自転車が置いてあります。嬉しいというより寂しい今の心境。古自転車の方がどう見てもカッコイイと思うなんて余程ヒネくれてます。さ、明日から我が新車を楽しまなければ。Today, I said goodbye to my bicycle which I had been using to get around since I came back to my hometown five years ago. It has been more than fifty years since my father bought it for me when I became a junior high school student. It was in the storage room for a long period of time and I showed it to the owner of a bicycle shop near my house. He said that it was an excellent bicycle and works very well still now so I had him replace the tires and fix brakes. Indeed it helped me a lot when I went to the grocery store in Hikone, when I went to the library, or when I dashed to the convenience store at night. It became rusty, the basket kept distorting since I fell while on the bicycle in junior high and the light was weak and sometimes didn't work. However, the body was still very strong and both the bicycle shop owner and Mr. Sawa, a cyclist, were saying that it is a valuable bicycle which we do not have nowadays. In my real life, I have to go up the slope one or two times when I go to grocery stores in Hikone, I also have to go uphill to the library and it takes so much energy for me who is carrying a heavy backpack with groceries or books. The other day, when I had a chance to ride on an electric assisted bicycle, I was amazed at the ease of it. Since that time, I was unhappy about riding my old bike when I went up the slope which made me nearly stop near the top because of my weak muscles. I thought that it was time for me to change my bike to an electric assisted one so I went to Hikone to buy a new one with my friend who helped me to carry the old and new bikes by her car. Now a shining new electric bike is in my house in the place where the old one was in before. In fact my feeling is sad to lose my old familiar bike rather than pleasant to get a new one. I might be twisted and abnormal because I definitely think that the old bike is nicer looking than the new one. Anyhow, I will enjoy my new assistant from tomorrow.