Jim Murray

5 months ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

I Loved To Ride My Bicycle

I Loved To Ride My BicycleNace

Random Ramblings
On The General State
Of The Universe

Most of you who know me will have figured out by now that I am in a wheelchair, the result of spinal surgery from an e-coli infection.

It’s not at all likely that I will ever regain the use of my legs without some sort of assistance, and it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion, because of the balance issues involved, that I will not be able to ride a bike again. And though my surgery has left me alive and functioning on many many levels, that is the thing I will miss the most.

I have been a bike rider all of my life. From the first tricycle as a kid up to the last bike, an Evo cruiser, which we just sold to a lovely girl from Niagara Falls. I have totally lost count of the number of bicycles I have had.

My bicycles got me to and from the golf course were I caddied as as a kid, through the long Niagara Falls Review paper route, to school and back, to baseball games all over Fort Erie, to endless rides down the Niagara River Parkway, and to the houses of friends, girl and otherwise, all over town.

The only time I was without a bike was a two year period after I left Fort Erie to live with my dad in Ottawa. There I had the use of a scooter, thanks to a girlfriend.

Once I got to Toronto, finished high school and started college, I was back up and riding. And from there it was pretty continuous, through several part time jobs, a couple of full time jobs and then into the advertising business, where, I rode in to work almost every day.

I also rode during my lunch hours, because my photography jones started around the same time as I got my first big time agency job.

Whenever I bought a bike, I always made sure that it had one of those carrier racks on the back. I would attach a plastic milk case to it and be able to lug around all my stuff.

I know that it looked kind of weird, especially when I had a fairly expensive bike, but I didn’t really care because camera equipment was bulky back then.

The best thing about the bike was that, for a street photographer, it was like walking around on steroids. You could cover lots of ground and see lots of stuff.

Whenever we went on trips down to Fort Erie, I would bring my bike and ride around the town, thinking about all the shit I used to get into when I was a kid. I was always amazed at just how many street names I could remember and how many houses I could say I had been in.

One weekend we went to Chautauqua, and I rode my bike all around taking pictures while Heather went to lectures and concerts.

With some of the images I shot I actually included my bike figuring it would add a bit of documentary feel to the whole thing.

After the kids left home, I took over the food shopping, and the bike was very handy for that. I could pack two days worth of stuff in my little milk case, and my wife, who decide to go back to work, got to strike shopping off her list of things to do.

But the best part of riding a bike was the headspace it put you in. I like to write poetry and lyrics, in addition to all the other stuff I like to write. So as I would ride I would start to hum a little chord progression to myself, then pretty soon, words would fall into place. When I had a whole verse I would stop and write it all down, then start up and sing it to myself until I got a second verse and maybe even a chorus. By the time I would get home I would have a whole song written out. Then I would sit down, transfer it into the computer and revise it into proper metre. I have done this literally hundreds of times. Some efforts were better than others, but all of it got entered up and at least once a week I go back and pick one to clean up.

But it’s funny, because whenever I do this I always imagine myself riding my bike. Which I guess makes it, at least in my current condition, very much a state of mind.

All in all, I have had a bike for pretty much all of my life. I was never big on driving a car. I didn’t get my license until just before my son was born and I was in my early thirties.

But then again, I never really needed a car. Just a bike, and the freedom of the open bike lane.


3b239dbd.pngJim Murray (that’s me) is a writer, marketer, editorialist, reader, TV watcher. I have been actively posting on social media since the early 2000s. I live with my wife on the beautiful Niagara Peninsula in Canada and work with a small group of companies who are trying to make a positive difference in the world.

My blogs are all accessible here:

https://www.bebee.com/@jim-murray

I am also a Featured Contributor at Bizcatalyist 360˚:

https://www.bizcatalyst360.com/author/jimmurray

You can also follow me on social media:

beBee: https://www.bebee.com/@jim-murray

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-murray-b8a3a4/

Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/y97gxro4


thumb_up Relevant message Comment
Comments
Ken Sylvia

Ken Sylvia

5 months ago #9

Maybe decent alternatives? https://www.outsidepursuits.com/best-adult-tricycle/

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

5 months ago #8

#6
Thanks for the suggestions. It's a balance issue more than a leg issue.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

I am thinking along the same lines as John Rylance, except maybe a stationary bike at home. Keep on keepin' on, Jim. You have a brilliant mind.

John Rylance

John Rylance

5 months ago #6

A thought have you considered a motorised bicycle, expensive, but I imagine could give you the same freedom. Or a tandem, with you on the back, with the front person doing the pedalling/hard work. No, i forgot about social distancing. Perhaps your best bet is to keep visualising your favourite bike trips. Keep fit and healthy.

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

5 months ago #5

Jim Murray Thank you for sharing Jim .. your honesty is courageous & inspirational. What is in your heart & mind can't be exorcised. Those wheels will always turn.

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

5 months ago #4

#3
Thanks Pascal. I wrote this as a kind of exorcism. It helped me get rid of the 'feeling sorry for myself', part of what's happened to me.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

5 months ago #3

II am in awe in how much courage it must have taken to write that article . As wheeler I know I much you loved your bike errands but I would say once a bike rider always a bike rider no matter what .... Cheers Jimbo

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

5 months ago #2

#1
When I lived in Toronto, had side street routes to get just about anywhere aI needed to go. When I moved to St Catharines, the traffic issues disappeared. Plus there are tons of bike paths and bike lanes here.

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

5 months ago #1

Don’t know about where you live, Jim, but the traffic gets so bad around us that push bike riding is getting damned dangerous, so maybe bicycle retirement is a blessing in disguise. Furthermore, still looking at things on the bright side, nobody can tell you disparagingly, “On yer bike!”

More articles from Jim Murray

View blog
2 weeks ago · 4 min. reading time
Jim Murray

Things Lost and Found: Civility

This is the third article in this series: The othe ...

2 weeks ago · 3 min. reading time
Jim Murray

My Soul Is Not For Sale

There is a wave of hatred and divisiveness spreadi ...

1 month ago · 3 min. reading time
Jim Murray

The Friday Files - The Nature of Certainty Part 2

In a way it’s funny because certainty in this life ...