Tootsie Pop Red Helmet.
You know how it is: you go
out and buy a couple of new pillows for the living room sofa (on sale
at Target for $12.98 each), and all of a sudden the drapes/the
carpeting/the wallpaper/the living room furniture look "all
wrong." The next thing you know you're ringing up another
on your Visa, springing for a complete wall-to-ceiling remodel.
how I feel about the
Tootsie Pop Red Helmet.
looked great with the
bright/happy/sturdy/ever-so-slightly-nerdy -- but
now that I'm riding this hot, happenin' new bike, I don't want
to be wearing a big red lollipop on my head anymore.
want to be wearing a big BLUE
one of those
weird misshapen lollipops that look like they've been melted in the
If I had known that I was
going to have my picture taken for posterity today, I would
be wearing the Ultra-Snooty Fluorescent Unicorns Cycling Jersey, a pair
of thermal-activated inflatable bike shorts and stiff ugly
uncomfortable cycling shoes that cost more than the average college
education, instead of an off-the-rack T-shirt, smelly Sugoi knickers
(still caked with blood from last weekend's tragic *Oh Shidt* Moment)
and beat-up Reeboks that are older than some of my readers, probably.
then again, that's
the difference between a "snapshot" and a "portrait," isn't it?
right. I'm cool.
how cool I am?
bet that *you* wish
you were as cool as *me*!
that I've got
twenty or thirty ounces of Gatorade Orange Ice sloshing around in my
lower mid-section right now -- my bladder feels like a pontoon
-- and the nearest bathroom is another 32 minutes down the trail. Plus
my sunscreen is melting into my eyes, one of my shoes is untied again,
and four seconds after the shutter clicks I'm going to sneeze a big
wet one into the wind ... with unspeakable results.)
other than that,
I'm pretty cool. Don't you think?
My Butt (On The
I've been riding the new
bike for about a month now, and I am pleased (and incredibly
vindicated) to report that I haven't experienced so much as a
millisecond of derierre discomfort, thanks to my big cushy
On The *Other Hand* ...
... I can't seem to ride
for more than twenty minutes at a stretch without my hands going numb.
(Notice I'm not wearing my gloves?) This wasn't a problem with the
other bikes -- at least, never to this degree -- and David and I are
baffled. We know it's probably related to carpal tunnel syndrome, and
that there are things I can do to help alleviate it (exercises, braces,
bike adjustments, changing wrist position more frequently, whining on
my website, guilting my employer into a new ergonomically-correct
workstation, blah blah blah). But so far nothing seems to help much.
anyone out there has
suggestions/comments/solutions, please feel free to drop me a
the meantime, we're
dealing with the problem the old-fashioned way: the moment I feel my
hands beginning to tingle again, we pull off the trail and David gives
me a brisk hand massage. He takes my hand between his and rubs it with
deep, deliberate pressure, starting at the center of my palm and
radiating outward ... flexing my wrist back and forth, gently squeezing
each finger individually from base to tip, kneading the muscles and
tendons until the numbness has receded, circulation has been restored,
and I have been reduced to a pile of quivering, gibbering goo.
second thought: hold off on those suggestions for just a little while
It's definitely still a
love/hate relationship where the toe clips are concerned.
love the extra power and oomph I get from riding with them, especially in hilly or windy
conditions. You dig in your heels -- literally! -- and the toe clips do
half the work for you. What I can't
seem to get used to is being locked into place from the ankles down. I
daydream a lot while I'm riding -- usually I'm daydreaming about
mushroom avocado cheeseburgers and chocolate milkshakes -- and I forget
that my feet are strapped into these stoopid seatbelts-for-feet until
the millisecond before I plow into the squirrel/the pothole/the
cluster of Stride-For-Life charity joggers.
I'm working on it.
The World's Most
Incredibly Groovy Bike.
name is either Max or
Maddie. Or Veronica. Or Baxter. ("Bax" for short.)
still haven't decided.
lives in our kitchen,
parked right next to the Ugly Pink Stove. It's annoying and
uncomfortable and inconvenient as hell, having a bike parked in our
microscopic kitchen again. But after what happened the last time we
tried to leave my bike outside, you'd better believe we've learned our
lesson. (And if we ever DO find ourselves in a
she needs to be left outdoors, we've already purchased a $43,897,621
Kryptonite lock and a couple of Pinkertons, just for that purpose.)
squeaks a little when
she brakes. She rides better in the "tall gears," especially when we're
going over the bike bridge. She doesn't like sand, mud puddles or
railroad tracks. She would prefer you not hang your wet pantyhose on
her handlebars, thankyouverymuch. She makes a really cool whistling
noise when we're coasting down a long hill.
she is, without a doubt,
my very most favorite bike ever ... mostly, I think, because she's The
Little Bike That *FootNotes* Bought.
The Iron Horse Trail.
rode thirty miles on this
trail this past weekend. I rode 40 miles on this trail the weekend
before that, 34.8 miles the weekend before that, and 31.25 the
weekend before that. I think it's safe to say that
much got the Iron Horse Trail 'rememberized,' as The Tots used to say.
I know where to find the cleanest bathrooms (Ralph's Supermarket in San
Ramon; the train station museum in Danville) and the best place to
refill your water bottle (the Lenore Schermer Memorial Fountain).
I know the nicest spot to stop and eat a Luna bar (under the big tree,
just past Bishop Ranch), and I know where the bumpiest, most
hazardous stretch of trail runs (under 680 heading south). Basically, I
know where every bridge, bench, historical marker and poop-scoop
station is located.
Furthermore, I'm actually
starting to recognize some of the people on the
It's Unhealthily-Tanned Rollerblade Lady again! )
best thing about riding
the Iron Horse Trail every weekend is that it's allowing us to knock
off a big chunk of those 2,002 miles in a hurry. We can ride from Alamo
to the Pleasanton BART Station and back in three hours, give or take a
hand-massage-break. That's thirty miles right there ... forty, if we
decide to ride up to Walnut Creek for a Jamba Juice afterwards. And
considering that it's June already and we're not even halfway to our
goal yet, every mile counts. And if the trail is starting to seem ... I
don't know ... a little stale, maybe, or
lacking in challenge? That's OK. You're not going to hear me complain. I
figure there will be time enough for more 'challenging' rides next
year, after we've met our goal. Right now it's all about building
strength, building confidence, racking up mileage, getting comfortable
on MaddieMaxVeronicaBax ...
and EARNING that
new Melted Lollipop Helmet.
to be featured on the
team estrogen website!