It was just a leisurely Sunday afternoon bike ride for Pete’s sake. Sounded innocent enough. Who knew it could be so deadly.
My riding companions insisted that I go buy a helmet and some Spandex. I did the first, not the latter. I used to ride my bike all over West Point, Mississippi,and never wore a helmet and Spandex hadn’t been invented – thank heavens.
My mentors,Marc and Marie, both showed up wearing fake “posteriors,” encased in Spandex. (I wish I had told them mine was fake.) I couldn’t imagine why until I’d been on the bike about two minutes. I’ll be walking funny for many days. Bike seats these days are like sitting on a small t-bone steak – bone only. Someone needs to work on marketing a seat the size of a normal “posterior” before I get into this pastime seriously.
While they’re at it, why doesn’t someone come up with an air conditioned helmet. A little battery pack installed into the very unbecoming biker’s hats could easily blow a cool breeze while you ride in the 3 p.m. sun.
The worst part was that I had three accidents before we had even gone a mile. Turns out my seat was too high and when I tried to stop I couldn’t reach the ground and just fell over onto the asphalt. Somehow Marie got injured trying to get me back up on my feet so we were both bleeding. Marc circled around us, trying not to laugh out loud. The worst part of it was the big accident took place at the intersection with High 82 and people we KNEW were driving by and pointing.
Marie and Marc left me in the shade at the baseball field to go racing around the campus like maniacs. When they got back they found me passed out in the grass and I got lots of sympathy. I wasn’t really hurt, just feigning a concussion to get a moment of rest.
Did I mention I was seeing spots before we got back to Marc’s truck which is the most wonderful place in the world. It has air conditioned seats! I could live in that truck for the rest of my life.
In spite of it all, I was totally smitten with the return to one of my first loves – biking. There’s nothing like finally getting to the top of a hill and letting gravity push you down the other side at breakneck speed. We felt 13 again and I knew without a doubt I’d be buying a bike very soon. But first I have to pay Marie for the damage to the one she loaned me. On one of my crashes the seat got twisted backwards, and that’s probably why I won’t be walking normally for a while.