Two Flat Tires: We Lose, Love, and Survive

by Melody Jean

Contemporary Seeker Two Flat TiresA few weeks ago I decided to awaken my road bike from it’s winter hibernation.

What Have We Here?

That morning I was giddy with excitement since it was my first ride of the season. I even had butterflies in my stomach.

Suited-up in my cold-weather biking-gear, I proceeded to the closet to retrieve my beloved bike. When I opened the doors I was greeted with two flat tires. Not an ounce of air, or a glimmer of life left. Just, dead. I’m sure you can imagine how quickly my bubble burst. Dismayed, I thought, “Alrighty then, what have we here?”

It’s a Hole, I Say!

My first thought was that the tires had holes. Yes, both of them. I’m two years-new to cycling so holes were my initial reaction. Yet, when common sense took hold, I thought perhaps they were just deflated. After all, it had been about three months since decent weather allowed for a ride. So I figured that air probably just seeps-out and if not regularly replenished, they fall flat.

Whatever the case, there I stood all ready to ride, and I had two flat tires. Ironically too I didn’t even own an air pump to fill them up. Even more comical is that if I did have a pump, I wouldn’t even know how to use it! You’re probably thinking wait, she says she loves to ride, yet she can’t fill tires with air!?

It was in that moment I began to laugh.

The Long, Short? It’s a Symbol

Why did I laugh? Because of the symbolism.

My bike which sat there, waiting for me, with two flat tires was a gosh darn symbol. It symbolized what I lost, what I love and that I’ll survive. All in one small instance I was flooded with a tremendous amount of ironic symbolism.

What I Lost

—> Loss # 1: Them

When I began cycling my boyfriend at the time, who I lived with, was an avid cyclist. He essentially introduced me to cycling and took care of my bike maintenance. Inclusive of filling my tires with air, of course.

When we parted ways, as luck would have it, my next boyfriend too was a cyclist. He naturally assumed the role of caring for my treasured bike. Yet, as the story goes, me and boyfriend number two also decided to go in different directions. We split three months prior, and because of the winter weather, I hadn’t ridden since. So it was in that moment, of two flat tires, that I was reminded of those who I lost.

—> Loss # 2: Me

During the two-years that I’ve been cycling, essentially I never needed to worry about flat tires or repairs. It wasn’t until that day with two flat tires and neither boyfriend to help, that I realized I relied on them.

This is to be expected in relationships. It’s usually a give and take. You help one another in your area(s) of strength. Yet, in allowing them to help, I realize that I relinquished a part of my independence, which I don’t do easily.

I laugh because the very element that I covet – independence – we need to let go of sometimes. It’s in reliance on each other that we can thrive.

Too I was overcome with the sense, that in allowing myself to rely on other people, I started to rely less on something greater. Something bigger than me, but that which can be found inside of me. I was losing that connection. So it was in that moment of two flat tires when I realized I’d lost a part of me too.

What I Love

My mind soars to different levels when I ride, which I touch upon in my post Zen and the Art of Endurance Training. An added bonus – it’s outdoor exercise. I’m one with nature and surrounded by an abundance of fresh air.

Cycling is one of few things that offers a sense of serenity and peace. It helps to maintain equilibrium of the awesome threesome. With just one ride I resound to a fulfilled mind, body and spirit. It’s trifecta, which I speak to all of the time. So yes, in that moment of two flat tires I was reminded of what I love.

I’ll Survive

So when I opened those closet doors, all suited-up and ready to ride, and saw my two flat tires; I took action. It’s true this incident served as a reminder of what I lost and love, yet it also reminded me that I’ll survive.

The way to survival is to act. So act I did. After all I couldn’t let my bike sit there lifeless and deflated. So with two flat tires I loaded my bike in the car and visited the bike shop. It was here that I learned four things:

(1) No, I didn’t have holes in my tires.

(2) Yes, tires just go flat with non-use and without replenishment.

(3) Yes, I needed to buy an air pump.

(4) Yes, I needed to learn how to use the air pump.

The sales clerk provided a brief demo on how to use my shiny new pump. In so doing he filled my tires with air. It was almost a relief in a way. That is, to watch the task unfold knowing I’d no longer have to rely on someone to do this for me.

I was now ready to maintain my bike myself. It was in that moment with two replenished tires when I was reminded, I’ll survive anything.

I know the higher Will or energy will carry me, and enable me to always ride. It’s through my faith in something greater that I’m able to move on. To put shattered fragments back together. One step at a time, and I always survive.

In Summation

I wrote the below poem prior to writing the explanation above. The explanation precedes the poem to provide a semblance of where it came from.

I often write backwards. That is I allow the natural beauty of the words to flow from my mind to fingers which results in poems, sonnets or prose. Once complete, I step back, reread, polish and determine what it means. Finally, I share it with you.


Flat Tired Bike

You symbolize what I lost,

Yet I won’t forsake the cost

Wasted years or time well spent

It’s in your deflation I circumvent


Around my mind, through my soul

I know in your beauty I’m not alone

Your tires so flat implore me to redeem

that sacred place lost deep inside of me


You’re an irony, an example

of wasted years or time well spent

It’s how I deem your contrast, and so I relent

I dust you off, fill you up and bring you back

Yet I can’t help but wonder if there’s a cost in that?


Even with my doubts you share your new air

Yet the lucidity to which I seek is just not quite there

Its only when I ride upon your golden seat

that I feel you radiate from underneath

You lift me up, carry me and enable my mind to eternity


We share our strengths in a sense

For it’s in this vein we release all pretense

I bring you renewed air, you help me ride

so it’s in this reality that I abide


Through your Will I grasp your majestic whim

which makes me shudder as I’m reeled back in

It’s in this moment when I finally remember

alone I’m not, if to you I again surrender

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