"The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelist and poets."
I have been really good lately at staying out of trouble, mostly. I blame this little incident on trying to be politically correct and "going green" as is all the rage right now. With high fuel and food prices one must do what one must to conserve. It is always nice if you can also have fun doing it.
~Christopher Morley~(photo source)
~Christopher Morley~(photo source)
A week ago handy hubby and I went flea marketing and came across my dream "going green" machine. I got so excited when I saw it that I started hopping up and down so he could see me trying to flag him down all while squealing, "Hurry, it's green, it's green!" He looks at me with that one eyebrow cocked look of his that says, "Oh brother, what did she find now?" But, he was pleasantly surprised as he stepped into the booth. I held the handle bars and my breath as he inspected it.
First he checked all the snazzy silver spokes.Then he clicked off and on the cool bullet head light.He checked the condition of the super springy leather seat.He kicked the tires and wiggled the fenders.The price tag was inspected then after a rattle of the chain, checking the kick stand, commenting on the cool condition, he looked up and grinned. "Let's take this green machine home!"I about rolled over everyone in the isle to get to the checkout. We loaded it up and took it home. Once home the tires were aired properly, the chain oiled, a quick wash, and then it was time for a test drive. This is where things went a little awry.
I have mentioned before that I am vertically challenged and truth be told, a kids bike would have suited my height better than this 26" beauty but I was not going to let that hinder me. This might be the time to mention that I have not actually been on a bicycle in, oh about 25 years! Not to be deterred I thought of that old saying, "It's as easy as riding a bicycle. It all comes back to you." or at least I hoped it would.My first hurdle was actually getting on the bike. I rolled it over to the edge of the carport and hopped up on the rocks outlining the edge and climbed on. So far so good. Then I pushed off and pedaled, OK it was really more of a wonky wobbled down the drive. Handy hubby and darling daughter are watching and start yelling for me not to go down the rocky steep drive but to head for the field! A little too late I try to turn and find myself staring at a fence and very big oak tree with not enough space between the two to get through. I tried to brake, which worked great, only I could not quite touch the ground to stop so I just kept gently rolling until my face was in the fence. My hands were splayed through the weld wire and the bike was the biggest blingly ankle bracelet you have ever seen. I hovered there hugging that fence dazed and amazed that I was alive!
I dusted the dirt off my handle bar and pushed my green machine back up to my starting point. Both of handy hubby's eyebrows were shot up in and, "Are you sure you want to try again?" arch. I grinned and got back up on the bike. I aimed for the field and away I flew. There was no wobble, I was really rolling! Then a flash of black began to criss~cross in front of me. It was my little dog Sophie! She started to nip and yap and run in circles around the bike. I thought I was going to use her for a speed bump. I got tickled and started to laugh and yell at her to stop or to get out of the way all the while trying to keep at least one eye on where I was going.I was laughing out loud, wind whipping my hair, and I felt like Mr Toad of Wind in the Willows on his wild ride, I was flying! We must have caused quite the commotion because just my luck, the one neighbor who can see our house happened to be home, sitting on a lawn chair, by his garage, and was witness to my wild ride. He got tangled in his lawn chair when he jumped up and ran out to the end of his drive to watch me fly by the fence laughing like a loon and scolding the dog. I could hear him cracking up as I cranked my way up the hill. Once I thought I was out of sight I swung both legs to the left and made a 10 point landing, on my fanny! When I dismounted I was on loose gravel and my feet just kept sliding. I never lost my grip on the handle bars and there I sat sprawled out grinning, this time with a big green belt buckle wrapped around my waist!
When handy hubby arrived to rescue me from myself I looked up at him and said, "I did pretty good didn't I?" He shook his head and said, "I guess so, you are still alive anyway! And, DON'T ride this thing if on one is home!" I told him I only messed up because audiences and dogs make me nervous. Handy hubby says it is great to go green to conserve on fuel costs and all but he is not so sure that the medical bills I am likely to incur will offset any savings.I have secretly been going out to the barn every morning and rolling my green machine out, after the neighbor leaves for work, and I fly through the field, up behind the writing cottage, through the back yard, around the pool, across the driveway, and back to the barn. You know the greatest thing? I laugh the whole time I am flying and I feel young, carefree like a kid again. I am having fun!
So, what do you do for fun? I am trying to decide between a vintage look wicker handlebar basket or a traditional wire one. Which would you choose? Handy hubby says I really need one to carry the first aid kit in!