This is my bicycle. I bought it over a year ago at Ross' Cycle Works. It's exactly what I wanted--it has coaster brakes and three gears that change with a turn of the handle grip. I got rid of my old bike a couple of years ago because I didn't use it and so we'd have one less thing to move.
Today I went for a bike ride home from the cycle shop and around the block. To most people who own a bicycle that's no big deal. But this was the first time my shiny red bike had been out of the garage (except for that time I swept the garage and moved the bike outside) since the day I bought it. The day I bought it, I walked it part way home, then rode the last couple of blocks and it's been lonesome in the garage ever since. That ride home shook me up. I was very unsteady and scared of falling off or getting hit by a car. Today's ride wasn't any better really--I still felt shaky but I feel like I've accomplished something by actually going for a ride. I got a bit flustered and couldn't remember how to change gears, so I rode all the way home--even up a steep hill--in second.
Last year around this time someone from the Cycle Stratford club offered to meet me and ride with me until I got comfortable out riding again but I chickened out each and every time we were supposed to meet. So today I walked my bike back to Ross' and one of their helpful staff put air in the tires for me. I asked if it needed a tune-up after sitting in the garage for so long, but he said no because I have such a simple bike. I've sent another email to the nice folks at Cycle Stratford so maybe I'll be out with company before too long. I am determined to be a cyclist. I am going to conquer this fear. I am going to remember how to change gears.