Here’s Why Every Adult Needs A Kickstand

I was looking at my very old ten-speed bicycle and reminiscing about all the good times we’ve had together. That bike has been through three moves and mile upon mile of exploring neighborhood streets. We’ve sloshed through the muddy trails of Zilker Park in Austin and raced ahead of barking dogs in Minneapolis. I’ve been forced to get a few replacement parts like tires and brakes but mostly it’s the same bike. I’m told newer models are lighter, faster, and easier to transport. My friend has a bike from Tokyo with a tall unicycle-type seat and small tires. It folds like an accordion. Rah. I don’t care. My bike is irreplaceable.

The seat of my bike is molded comfortably to my shape. The grips on the handlebars fit my fingers like custom gloves. We have history. I know my bike. I know it’s hard to shift gears if the chain is too tight so I let up on my stroke to adjust the tension when I upshift or downshift. When anyone else rides my bike, invariably the chain comes off. That’s when they tell me, “You need a new bike!”, not because of how it looks but because they don’t know how to handle it. My bike shows minimal wear and tear because I always use the kickstand when I’m not riding it. has two definitions for a kickstand

(kĭk stănd′)  n.

1. swiveling metal bar for holding a bicycle, motorcycle, or other two-wheeled vehicle upright when it is not being ridden.

2. An attachment for a tablet or other electronic device used to prop up the device when it is resting on a surface.

Every day of this journey, we encounter the unexpected: potholes in policy, rain on the day of the parade, inexplicable coldness in places that were previously sunny, and miles of traffic delaying the execution of our dreams. When we’re forced to temporarily stop pedaling, there’s no substitute for a good kickstand. We all need something to keep us upright when we are too tired or frustrated to go on. See, I love my bike because I know what it feels like to be older, slower, and less shiny than the competition. I know what it feels like to be on the bubble of someone else’s opinion. I know how it feels to be underestimated. And, conversely, how wonderful it is to have a trustworthy prop that allows me to smile inside when I tell the world “I’m still standing!”. In popular culture, everyone wants a ride or die. Not me. I’ll take this old frame, the wind at my back, and a really good kickstand.

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