Reaching for the pedals

My parents bought my first bike second-hand from a retired German gentleman who repaired and sold bicycles from his garage behind his house in Waverly, about a mile south of us. The bike had 24-inch wheels, smaller than the more common 26-inchers most kids rode. My bike also had inflatable tires, self-contained, without an inner tube. Odd, hard to repair or replace.

But this 24-incher fit me perfectly. Shorter than most kids, I could reach its pedals and see over its handlebars. My competence at managing this smaller bike felt good to me, an undersized kid.

As I grew older but not much taller, I pressed my parents to upgrade my personal transportation. Finally, they returned to the gentle German and presented me with a used bike with 26-inch wheels. This bike was too big for me. I was too short to manage it, but I couldn’t bear to give it up or disappoint my well-meaning parents. My feet couldn’t reach the pedals if I was seated. The only way I could ride this bike was to stand forward, over the crossbar in front of the seat. Only then could I reach the pedals to propel the bike forward and reverse the pedals to engage the Morrow coaster brakes. When I sat, my feet dangled above the pedals. This bike simply was too big for me. I was not competent to ride it.

Today, as we arrive at the final day in the presidency of Donald Trump, we Americans and the entire world ponder lingering questions about this man and his failed attempt to ride a bike that is too big for him.

WHAT EXPLAINS his fascination with and admiration for the world’s most cruel despotic leaders?

WHAT WOULD WE LEARN about him if we were to follow his money trail, both here and abroad, particularly in Russia?

WHAT INSIDE THIS MAN moves him to treat children and members of certain ethnic or religious groups with such cruelty?

WHY is personal loyalty so important to him?

WHAT EXPLAINS his personal moral and ethical code of behavior?

WHY DOES HE lie much more than he speaks the truth?

Finally, WHY DO SO MANY trust the words of a chronic liar and act on them?

He has crashed the bike. His legs were too short to reach the pedals.

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