Hilda is my mountain bike. She’s a Giant XTC carbon 29er.
She’s called Hilda because:
1. the word ‘hill’ is in it – sort of.
2. Hilda means ‘battle maiden’
3. Hilda after my little sister who often called herself Hilda, or a Hilda Vagabond, courtesy of a prank phone call back in 1985. All I came up with that day was ‘Vera Calendar’ but she’d caught me on the hop. Libby/Hilda was good with her prank phone calls.
Hilda came into my life about three months after Libby died. I bought her as a way of managing my grief, hoping that getting back into the bush – the smell, the sounds, the pain in my legs – might do good things for me.
There are certain hills that I ride and every time I think of Libby. I remember how she talked, how cranky she got at injustice, her teddy bear Custard who went with her, songs she liked. It’s nice. Occasionally I cry. But they are different from the tears I do at home. They’re happier, bittersweet. There is less pain and more being thankful. I’m lucky I knew her.
The tears I cry on my bike are tears that I can sit with.
Thank you, Libby.