A Bicycle Built for Me? Part 2 – You daredevil biker you

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I can’t keep secrets from my husband so the next day I tell him, “I bought a bike.” Followed quickly by “it was on sale.”

“Ah Ha,” he says, sipping his first coffee of the day. Later he remarks, “I saw it in the garage. It’s nice.”

“It was on sale.” Didn’t I say that already? Duh!

My husband is working afternoons so I decided it was time to set my wheels in motion and take that bike out for a spin (I’m not quite at the comfort zone to step up to the pedals with my husband looking on). I hop on, riding the brake down the driveway and turn left. Best to stay on our street and go around the crescent – little traffic, few prying eyes. It was exhilarating, but scary. And I’m thinking, “Really, how do I look riding this thing? Do people think I’m nuts?”

So, as any writer would do, I posted about my new purchase on Facebook. My friends were supportive but also concerned.

“Do you have a helmet?”

“Uh, no, I didn’t get one.”

“Do it,” several say, and others click on the LIKE button…one, two…let’s just say “several times.”

The next day I go to Canadian Tire. I try on helmets. There are no mirrors. I take one out of my purse, put it on the shelf and try a helmet on. A young kid walks by and whistles. I’m mortified. I grab two helmets and head to the isle with large mirrors. I try them on again. I settle on one that’s within my price point and fits snugly. I also buy two lights for the bike (for night riding and turn signals) and an odometer/speedometer that tracks 18 things in total.

Later that evening I gingerly take the bike out of the garage. My neighbour and her daughter are in their backyard and see me.

“Hey! What’s that?” they ask.

“I bought a bike,” I say proudly.

“So where’s your helmet?” the mother asks.

“I, uh, will wear it next time.”

“Okay” she says, adding her typical droll, drop-dead sense of humour, “just don’t expect me to be feeding you gruel out of a straw,” and she makes that sideways face to show what she means. I can’t help laughing because she’s funny, but she’s probably right. I will get up the nerve to put it on tomorrow. I wave goodbye and head out.

I decide to take a longer ride this time, so I go down every crescent on each street, still staying in my cozy subdivision with little traffic. The sound of a car approaching gives me goose bumps. I slow down at the stop signs and look both ways. No one coming, I make my turn.

Then it happens. I come to a stop sign and hear a car. It’s moving to fast. I can’t race it. I’m going to have to stop. Remember, my stops aren’t pristine (as I pointed out in my previous blog). This one’s a disaster. I hit the brake, drop my left foot to the ground and the bike topples.

A young couple is standing nearby with their kids in tow. The woman has a looks worried.  “Are you alright?” she asks with genuine concern.

“I’m fine,” I say quickly. But I’m not. I’ve got a scraped knee and a bruised ego.

I head home slowly and park my bike back in the garage.

More to come…

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4 responses »

  1. You know what they say about falling off of a bike…

    I’ve fallen victim to the laws of cycling-oriented gravity more times than I dare remember, including one memorable impact with the front end of a Dodge whose driver was too busy arguing with his wife to realize he was accelerating through a stop sign and directly into my frame.

    I couldn’t walk the bike home that time, but as soon as the insurance cheque came in, I marched back to the bike shop and came home with the loveliest set of wheels imaginable. I’ve taken a few spills on this velo, as well, but I keep getting back on because I can’t imagine not being able to travel across town – or to a Great Lake, or to the store – under my own power. It is, simply put, life.

    I imagine you’ll be back in the saddle before long, too.

  2. Awww too cute! I like the part where the kid in the store whistles lol. Seems we’re both “accident proned”!

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