Okay, so Sarah Goodyear reports for Grist in this article about Lucette Gilbert, a sweet little old lady in her "very high 70s" who lives in New York City (of course), that said little old lady stands as proof that you're never too old to ride a freaking bike.
There's even a video of the lady riding her bike. How nice. Really!
I would be the last person to claim otherwise. However, perhaps it hadn't occurred to Sarah that a non-bicycle rider isn't always "one of those people who comes up with endless excuses about why you can't get your ass onto a bicycle and use it to go somewhere." In point of fact, Sarah might not be aware that you don't have to be old to suffer infirmity sufficient to make bike riding extremely difficult.
Perhaps it would be instructive for Sarah to watch these videos:
The trailer from the documentary Twisted.
A PSA about dystonia.
Okay, Sarah. Do you think these people are going to just hop on a bicycle and ride anywhere they want?
And here's the thing. These people are obviously disabled. What about folks whose disabilities aren't obvious? Would you believe I'm one of them?
I've had dystonia in my hand and foot for about six years. It's something most people don't notice, but I feel it all the time and it wears me down. And I can't grip with my left hand, anymore. And it's constantly clenching and twisting. Sometimes it hurts. But I keep going, anyway. I won't bore you with the details about my constantly clenching toes.
There are people with other disorders that can't be seen. Lupus, chronic pain syndrome, to name just a couple. Who are you to judge, Sarah? That's my question.
The other day, I rode my bicycle around the neighborhood. I was only out for an hour or so, but it felt good to know I could. But I felt sad, too, because it'll never be quite the same experience again.
But even though it hurt, and I won't be riding on a daily basis or much farther than my own neighborhood, at least I did it. Because I could and I believe in doing things if I can.
PS: Lucette Gilbert is one lucky lady. And if she'd like to trade places with a certain New York Times bestselling mystery author, tell her I'll do it in a heartbeat. :)
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