The metal pickers come in the night and they take old screens and tools and empty cans to redeem for pennies on the pound — precious payment needed now more than ever. This week, they took Mulie.
My beloved bike, Mulie, whom you met (and perhaps fell in love with, too) in my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike, had been “put out to pasture” for several years now, his $79 value from Target now long since repaid in miles and smiles.
He no longer worked and wasn’t safe for me or anyone else to ride. He was no longer fixable, and I’ve been clearing out to prepare to leave for the Peace Corps and he had no place here anymore (Zippy was already gone). Plus, with so much death of people during this global pandemic, there is no room for sentiment of things beyond this brief tribute.
I gave him everything I had, and I took what I could from him. We shared commutes to schools with violins and lunches in panniers; shopping outings to farmers markets and deliveries of food to those in need; participation in the Georgia Rides to the Capitol event to advocate for safe access for all; and day after day of finding art and free public fruit and nice strangers around the City of Atlanta.
The time had come, and I put him out the night before Garbage Day, on the bottom of a hill I had descended a thousand times with daughters now grown, knowing full well he wasn’t garbage (and that he had taught me I wasn’t garbage, either).
I hoped for one specific outcome, and it happened. The metal pickers came in the night, and they took him.
May his fun and happy spirit live on, and may I continue to trust the journey he set in motion.