Jun 27, 2011

Riding A Bike.

How long has it been since you rode a bike? I can not remember the last time I rode a bike. Actually just when I wrote that the last time came flooding back into my mind. I was in high school and I went on a bike ride with one of my sisters. We went down Lord's Hill Road and at the bottom of the hill we turned right and we rode awhile that way. I remember it was afternoon and it was a beautiful Pacific Northwest day. I do not remember what compelled us to go for a ride but I imagine it was the beginning of some grand fitness quest that clearly happened as I am now an Olympic cyclist :) JK

I remember when I finally got rid of my bike when we lived in Provo, Utah. Our landlord in Provo had a ton of kids and I gave my blue ten speed bike, that I had bought with my own money in junior high school, to one of his girls.

Lately I have had the weirdest longing for a bike with a basket on the front. It started last Friday when I was trying to figure out how to get to the car place to pick up my car which was finally done being fixed. It was about six miles to the car place and I had this notion that I could do this.

Our garage is full of bikes that for some reason all have problems. The garage for misfit bikes. I beg the man of the house quite frequently to help get the bikes in working order. But the bikes really prefer taking up space and occasionally falling over when I am trying to reach something around them. I feel bad that the bikes rarely have a view of the road and the world.

Anyway, back to my story. Miriam went through a "I am going to ride a bike into town and purchase sugar" stage last summer. She would frequently end up at Friendly's eating ice cream :) But soon the riding bike phase got frustrating for her because she would often get a flat tire in town. I remembered this as I was contemplating my bike ride into town so I called Miriam who is in Idaho at BYU-Idaho. She could not remember which bike it was that got the flat tire. So my gathering information phase was over and I headed to the garage to ascertain my situation. There are three big person bikes in the garage. One is purple and completely and totally missing a front tire. So that was easy to figure out. Bike number two is also purple and had a very flat back tire. I searched for the tire pump and pumped and pumped but nothing happened....yeah, nothing....yes, I am sure the pump was on right...good question though:) So bike number three is red and is a boy bike. I eyed it and the tires all looked happy. I figured out how to lower the seat and then I stood there and sized it up and realized that I was probably too short to ride it comfortably. But that was not going to stop me. It was a misty, rainy evening. It was about five o'clock. I tilted the bike a little to the side and put my leg over it and tried to touch the ground. I could touch with my tippy toes. I informed the long ominous looking bar that I thought we could ignore each other quite nicely and it kept silent in agreement. So standing up on the pedals I set off around the yard. I needed to figure out what all the gears meant, what made the pedaling feel natural to me, and I needed to figure out how to stop without having to recognize that long bar. So I practiced around and around my front yard. I tried all the gears and I practiced stopping gracefully. I knew I needed to try it out on the actual road after about a half hour of staying on my driveway and front lawn. So my plan was to go out on the busy road in front of my house and ride down to a turn out for trucks just a short ways from my house and practice there for awhile. My heart was racing...why?....yeah, I don't know....something about trying something new and not knowing the outcome does that to me :) As I left my driveway in the misty rain and really let my legs really pump hard happiness came flooding over me. I felt free. Geesh, I really should get a life, huh? I rode for another 20 minutes up and down that truck turn out area. I felt the misty rain on my face and felt strangely empowered...like I could go anywhere....yeah, I know I could get in the car and go anywhere but this was different. I could look up at the low clouds covering the mountain. It was very exhilerating. I finally came back to earth and remembered that I was a 42 year old mom and that I should be at home doing mom stuff so I reluctantly headed home with the determination to get up early the next morning and ride on the honest to goodness road for a while towards town to see if the flat tire thing would happen to me.

Saturday morning I woke up at 6:15am and left the house at about 7:10am. Everything was quiet. The road in front of our house follows the Westfield River and I could hear river sounds as I was riding along. I felt like I could ride forever. I was fascinated with this new discovery. As I got further and further from home I became more tickled with myself.

When I got home from my practice run I felt ready to head off on my "pick up the car" adventure. But I forgot the one small detail .....my youngest child Natalie. Who was most definitely not into staying home alone with her 15 year old brother while I rode to the car place. So to make a long story short I ended up never riding my bike to the car place.

But now I have bike riding in my mind. I have decided to ride the 5 miles to CVS every morning starting Wednesday. I will leave about 6am and I will solve all the world's problems as I ride along. And I will figure out how to make enough money to purchase the bike in the picture at the top. This bike is made in Denmark by a company named Velorbis. I am pretty sure it is a need and not a want. I am enjoying ignorance at the moment because the price of the bike is not written in American money :) But all that matters is the bike has an amazing name Dannebrog.....I am going to go practice writing it in cursive.....Velorbis Dannebrog Baird :)


Erika said...

Jennifer your blogs make me happy. :) I just got a bike with an infant seat on the back for Taylor at a garage sale for $10, so we ride to the library and the post office and the bank and even sometimes the park. :) I like bike riding and hope you never find out how much your Denmark bike costs in dollars and that someone just buys it for you instead! :)

Ackerman/Mejias Family said...

what a wonderful hope your friend has for you! That was exactly what I was thinking!!!
I enjoy my pink, cotton candy cruiser with the basket on the front of a bike every chance I get! It makes me feel like a kid again; no worries, no responsibilities... even when the children of the neighborhood hum the song from the scene of Wizard of Oz when I ride by (think little Toto in the basket).
I'd like to think I look a little sexier on mine, though.