I think I’ll start with the good. There is some good in this.
And then there’s the funny.
But I’ll start with the good.
When I was 11 and in fifth grade, my family moved from an apartment in the city, where there were sidewalks and flat roads and lots of friends to a house in the country with no sidewalks, a busy-ish, hilly road with lots of blind spots and only one or two friends close enough to get together without needing a ride from a parent.
Since there was nowhere to ride a bike except our driveway, I got very much out of the habit over the next year and except for a few minutes on my daughter’s bike about seven years ago (just to see if I could still ride), I haven’t ridden a bicycle in probably 22 years.
But this past Sunday, I joined a couple friends on the St. Marks Trail (where I rollerblade), borrowed a bicycle from one of them and rode 32 miles.
That’s right, folks: Twenty-two years without riding a bike and I went 32 full miles. We didn’t ride fast, but it felt really good. Well, mostly.
That’s where we get away from the good and on to the funny.
First, I don’t remember bicycle seats being so incredibly uncomfortable. And by that I mean, because of sitting on that seat for the better part of 32 miles, I could barely sit comfortably on my couch for the next two days. Ouch! My friend L, whose bike I borrowed, looked up some information on finding more comfortable seats and the information she found was just what I thought: Manufacturers are more concerned with style than comfort, so while comfy seats exist, they’re tough to find.
L found this website that explains it all and offers options.
Still, that’s not the worst part. Of course. You do remember me, don’t you? My best friend calls me her “clumsy friend.” There are some good reasons for that. Thankfully, years of ballet and yoga have taught me how to fall without getting hurt.
What happened? Well, let me tell you:
We were maybe two miles from the trailhead at the end of our ride when I figured out how to play with the gears and make the pedals a little more difficult to pedal, which I wanted. I upped the endurance level and then upped it again. The second time was too much and I needed to release it, but I couldn’t figure out how.
So there I was, riding alongside L and trying to release the gears when I saw another biker coming up the trail towards us. I needed to slow down and get behind L to let the other rider pass, but I was still trying to release the gear. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my front tire about to hit L’s back tire. I knew I was going to fall. I didn’t want to take her with me. I’m pretty sure I managed to save L, but I wasn’t really watching as I fell flat sideways onto the (thankfully) soft, pine needle-covered shoulder of the asphalt trail.
I had a feeling I would fall. I just thought it would have happened sooner.
You’ll all be happy to know (if for no other reason than it guarantees more stories of my trying to kill myself by trying to get healthier) that except for slightly having the wind knocked out of me and a few minor scrapes on my right leg, I’m fine.
Except for that sitting problem.