Archive for August 2009
You know those people who are good at riding their bike? They seem to get on and off so effortlessly and they are so graceful pedalling around. They seem to be one with the bike, able to just use it as an extension of their body, a tool that helps them get around faster than by simply walking.
Well, I have never been one of those people. I took ballet classes as a child, but it didn’t seem to help so much with making me graceful as it did by making my hate those silly pink leotards that made me look huge next to the lithe little blonde girl I usually got stuck next to. No, I have never been quite a graceful person, and I usually have a good number of unexplained cuts and bruises to prove it.
But… I may be getting just one more step further from the awkward boor that I usually am, and the bike may be the key. In the beginning I found riding, mounting, and dismounting my bike really awkward, and I was constantly running my shins into the pedals and hurting myself. My legs looked like a warzone with all the cuts and scrapes and bruises. I blamed a lot of that on the very pointy metal pedals, or on the fact that it’s a men’s bike and has a high cross bar. But now I’ve found that maybe I actually can adjust and figure out how to be more graceful, even beyond these things.
The best part was that I didn’t even really notice this was happened. Today I hopped onto my bike and it just felt right. It felt comfortable. It felt good to get on the bike. My body knew just how to position itself when I planted my butt in the saddle, and I could effortlessly pedal off into the parking lot at work. It felt good to push down with my legs and feel the wind in my face. It felt so damned good to ride my bike.
In the beginning, not every ride was nice. There were a fair share of awkward rides, where I almost fell off trying to stop at stoplights. I even ran into a truck one day when I was trying to manoeuver between two tightly parked cars.
These days, things like that don’t happen as often (not that I run into parked cars on a regular basis). I am definitely better at manoeuvering my bike in tight spaces, and I feel more reassured that I won’t crash into still objects that just happen to in the wrong place at the wrong time (sorry).
Dennis and I are past the awkward adolescent stage, and I think we’re definitely growing into each other. That feels so good.
This weekend, Dennis has to go to the shop and get a tune-up. I haven’t had anyone really look at the bike (except me, staring lovingly at him whenever I can) to make sure that he’s in tip-top shape. I depend on him to get me to work and back and ride him everyday, so I need him to be in good working order at all times.
Sending him in for a tune-up means that I have to drop him off today and probably can’t pick him up until Monday, which means it is going to be a bike-free weekend for me and that makes me very, very sad. The funny thing is that Darren and I had a really tough time figuring out what we were going to do on Sunday without having to use our bikes. Well, he could bring his bike, but then I’m going to have to walk (like a peasant!) behind him, and it would be very inefficient for us to get anywhere.
Thus, we have decided to find something bike-free to do, and it’s proving to be incredibly difficult to do! Our weekend activities revolve around bike activities (riding somewhere near us, taking the bus or train somewhere new and riding around). No matter what the actual activity is, it usually involves taking a bike some part of the journey to get there.
What the hell did we do before we started living bikey lives? It’s like a totally foreign life to me now. The idea of not being able to ride my bike to get somewhere is horrifying, and the idea of taking the shuttle on Monday to get to and from work is sending fear crawling down my back. I am going to be so utterly cranky sitting at my desk all day.
I don’t even care that Dennis is turning out to have a taste for blood and he makes me bleed at least once a week. His pedals are sharp and metal and I endless walk my shins into them, and sometimes he likes to fall on me when I’m holding him in the train. Yes yes, Dennis is a bit of a psycho, but I still love him for it.